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#1881
James
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That I’m gay and live with a partner was the first thing I told my priest after saying “I’d like to join the Church but there may be a problem”. (The second was that if I couldn’t become a member I’d hang around anyway until someone threw me out.) Of course the pressure was off both of us since I was able to say honestly that due to illness we’ve been celibate for years. So bringing up relationship issues in confession is no big deal. Still, I’d like to ask my priest round for a house (well, apartment/flat) blessing (I’m sure my Quaker partner would enjoy all the flying water) but have held off because I don’t want to put my priest in the uncomfortable position of having to bless the bedroom.

My guess is that in many parishes the congregation is less open-minded than the clergy. But in my parish church coffee is no big deal (other than the long queues/lines). I wear my registered-civil-partnership ring on the non-Orthodox hand, so those who don’t already know generally don’t ask the family question.

It’s impossible to generalize about how open to be in the Church context since parishes differ a good deal even in the same diocese. Still, I figure if you don’t ram your partnership down people’s throats, take an active part in parish life, make an honest effort to follow an ascetic program similar to what’s required of married heterosexuals and have an active prayer life, you’re likely to find a welcome.

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