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They Make Me Proud...

It's been several years now since I left the faculty of Cherry Hill Seminary. Many things have changed since I was last affiliated with the school--the first Pagan clergy training school in the modern world to offer graduate-level courses.

But as someone who passionately supports equality for same-gender couples, I'm very pleased with the speed of their response to this week's disappointing California decision on Proposition 8.

They're making me proud...
Cherry Hill Seminary Responds to Same-Sex Marriage Debate

COLUMBIA, SC -- Cherry Hill Seminary students and faculty are representative of the range of human sexual diversity. They minister to communities which include many same-sex couples.

As Pagans, we embrace all forms of consensual adult sexual expression and relationships. We recognize sexuality as a sacred and spiritual force and, therefore, support legal, social and spiritual recognition of these relationships.

More information about Cherry Hill Seminary may be found at or by contacting Holli Emore at 888-503-4131 or

While not unique, this is an encouragingly clear statement of principle. I look forward to being made as proud, in time, by still more groups, both Pagan and Quaker.


Hystery said…
Very cool. It has been a wish of mine to one day join the Cherry Hill faculty so for several years, I've been watching them. This makes me very happy.
Awesome. I hope to attend Cherry Hill in future; this is just one more reason why.
Hrafn said…
Very cool. I'm also hoping to attend some day, and things like this reaffirm my confidence that it is the right decision.
Mary Ellen said…
While my Quaker Meeting has room to grow, we adopted the following minute in 1986 (and have performed many same-sex marriages since, though they aren't recognized by the state):

Twin Cities Friends Meeting, joyfully recognizing the diversity of sexual orientation within our religious community, affirms the goodness of committed, loving relationships that endure, are unselfish, and that provide mutual support and tenderness. We unite with Hartford, Connecticut Monthly Meeting’s Minute saying: ‘That so deeply enriching and spiritually fulfilling an experience as love between two individuals should be limited to those of the opposite sex we find inconsistent with the Quaker principle of the universality of love in the light.’

“We now affirm our willingness as a Meeting to hold celebrations of loving commitment under our care, in accordance with our traditional procedures, for both opposite sex and same sex couples, one or both of whose partners participate in our community as members or attenders. We intend to follow the same customary and careful process of arriving at clearness for any couple, regardless of sexual orientation, who should wish to unite under our care. We are aware of the diversity of attitudes toward the term marriage and leave to the couple the characterization of their relationship. In cases where the laws of the state of Minnesota permit, should a couple celebrating with us their relationship desire to certify their union legally, the oversight committee will assist with arrangements.”
Mary Ellen,
Thank you for correcting a misimpression I left, that there are no Quaker bodies that have spoken clearly on this subject. There are--indeed, I belong to another of them.

The minute you quote is particularly lovely, however, and speaks to me powerfully tonight: ‘That so deeply enriching and spiritually fulfilling an experience as love between two individuals should be limited to those of the opposite sex we find inconsistent with the Quaker principle of the universality of love in the light.’

Now to amend my post!
Mary Ellen said…
Thanks for your kind response - I do feel blessed by my particular lovely community (with all its warts and our individual and corporate stumbles) as we seek the light of loving-kindness and truth.
Yewtree said…
::: yay - happy dance :::

(saw the announcement on a mailing list but didn't know if they had put up a webpage that I could post to MetaPagan, so thanks for writing a post about it)
Thank you so much, my friend!
sta┼Ťa said…
Cherry Hill, like any other similar endeavor/group/institution, has its pluses and its minuses. But it's being a good fit for me.

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