I recently came across this article in the San Francisco Chronicle about what are being termed “San Francisco Relationships” – that is, committed gay relationships (or even marriages) that are “open” and intentionally “non-monogamous”. (You can read the whole article here).
First, it should be noted, this is not unique to gay relationships. Straight couple have been engaged in these kinds of things for years. That said, I do think it is more prevalent in the gay community.
One of the sad realities is that since the church (broadly) was abandoned and condemned the gay community, there are few people who are willing to help LGBT individuals and couples really work through how to have healthy and long-term relationships, marriages and families.
There is a reason that mentoring, pre-marital counseling, pastoral care, accountability, etc, are all helpful to heterosexual relationships. The church (through teaching, counseling, modeling, mentoring, small groups and friendships) help individuals and couples develop healthy relationships. What are healthy boundaries? What does commitment look like? What re some pitfalls to avoid? How do you work on communication? How do you make Jesus central in your relationship? etc etc etc…
My hope and dream is that churches would become resources to help Christian and seeking LGBT individuals and couples work through these issues in the context of a Christ-centered community. This includes helping folks date, in relationships, in marriage and in family life.
With straight couples, churches understand this as part of their mission and a core part of discipleship. The same needs to happen for gay folks.
Will the church ever get there?
I don’t know.
Some have. Some will. And some will never get past the abandon-and-condemn theology.
What do you think?