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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Religious Society of Friends’ relationship with sexuality has been contentious since its inception in seventeenth-century England. Even George Fox and Margaret Fell’s ‘helpsmeet relationship’ raised questions about unacknowledged sexuality, discipline, and rightlyordered behaviour. Conflicts about sexual morality have continued to permeate Friends’ history through the centuries, resulting in contemporary disagreements about sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, marriage, and committed same-sex partnerships. This chapter provides a summary of Quaker perspectives on sexuality for the past 350-plus years, including an overview of different understandings that have emerged during the twentieth century within Friends General Conference (FGC), Friends United Meeting (FUM), and Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI).

Keywords: committed partnerships, same-sex, gender identity, helpsmeet relationship, marriage, sexuality, sexual orientation

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