Friends attitudes toward bisexuality and toward bisexuals and homosexuals in our midst was discussed by some 130 persons at two meetings during Friends General Conference in Ithaca, N. Y.
The discussions were not part of the planned program but ad hoc sessions which drew overflow crowds after they were announced in the Daily Happening.
The lack of reliable information about bisexuality, homosexuality and sexuality in general was a concern of many of these Friends. Bisexual Friends spoke freely about their conditions and answered many questions. There was agreement that many Friends needed to become much more informed on these subjects and that this could best be accomplished through Monthly and Yearly meetings and at future general conferences.
It was also felt that bisexuality should be defined at the local level. A statement and four Queries resulted, much of them based on the painful testimony of Friends who had suffered themselves, or who knew of sufferings by others in their Meetings.
The following queries were distributed to most of those attending the conference in the hope that all Meetings would address themselves to these concerns under the guidance of God.
Are Friends open to examining in our Meetings facets of sexuality, including bisexuality, with openness and loving understanding?
Are Friends aware that Friends are suffering in our Meetings because they are not exclusively heterosexual? That Friends have felt oppressed and excluded, often without conscious intent; have felt inhibited from speaking Truth as they experience it? That Quaker instructions have threatened their employees with loss of jobs should their orientations become known?
Are Friends, with their long tradition of concern for social justice, aware of the massive and inescapable bigotry in this area directed and perpetuated by virtually all United States institutions to wit: all branches of government; churches; schools; employers; landlords; med1cal, bar, and other professional associations; insurance companies news media; and countless others? ‘
Are Friends aware of their own tendency to falsely assume that any interest
in the same sex necessarily indicates an exclusively homosexual orientation; and to further falsely assume that interest in the opposite sex necessarily indicates an exclusively heterosexual orientation?