Covenant Relationships Bibliography

Betty Berzon. Permanent Partners: Building Gay and Lesbian Relationships that Last. New York: EP Dutton, 1988. Although a little dated, Berzon covers a lot of territory including legal and commitment celebrations.

Blessing Ceremonies: Resources for Same-Gender Services of Commitment. Holden, MA: United Church Coalition for Lesbian/Gay Concerns, July, 1993. This 59 page booklet includes a section by James B. Nelson on the ceremony's theological background and also includes information on liturgical resources, practicalities, personal witnesses and sample services. It can be purchased for $12.50 (includes postage) from UCCL/GC--ONA, P.O. Box 403, Holden, MA 01520-0403.

Boswell, John. Same-sex Unions in Premodern Europe. NY: Villard Books, 1994. 412 pages includes bibliographical references and index. Boswell brings a historical perspective in providing evidence that various forms of same-sex unions existed in the ancient world. He also includes information on the Roman Catholic teaching that the two parties marry each other; the priest merely acts as a witness.

Celebration of Same-Gender Covenants: Task Force Report of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Raleigh, North Carolina: April 1993. This 32 page booklet contains Pullen's journey of inclusiveness as well as a theological basis for blessing same-gender covenants, a brief history of these celebrations, an example service, legal considerations and future considerations.

Claiming the Promise: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource of Homosexuality. This groundbreaking curriculum developed by the Reconciling Congregation Program in cooperation with groups in eight other denominations. Written by Mary Jo Osterman, the seven sessions explore biblical authority and interpretation, examine biblical references to same-sex conduct, and encounter the hard questions of "right-relationship", lust/love, and sexual responsibility. For information contact the RCP, 3801 N. Keeler Avenue, Chicago, IL 60641. 773-736-5526; web

Eskridge, William. The Case for Same-Sex Marriage. This 296 page book which includes bibliographical references, index, and a list of related court cases also includes an edited set of letter from clergy of various traditions written in support of same-sex marriage as part of a 1991 Superior Court case. Chapters include historical information, the debate within the gay/lesbian community and constitutional considerations. Eskridge concludes that same-sex marriage is "good for gay people and good for America" (p. 8).

Gay & Lesbian Worship Services: A Resource from the Office of Lesbian & Gay Concerns of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This 54 page booklet contains sample pride and related services, one church's gay and lesbian awareness study, two speeches/sermons and several readings for general gay pride/awareness services.

Jordan, Mark D. The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. This 190 pp. book which includes bibliographical references and index states clearly that Sodom in the bible is the name of a city, not a vice or sin. The sin was the linguistic invention around 1050 by the monk Peter Damian and then taken up other theologians before eventually becoming part of English and American laws. Describing himself in one interview as a dissenting Catholic, Jordan hopes the book will release some and anger and bring about some consolation: anger that the church as distorted the tradition, consolation that this distortion isn't from God.

Marshall, Joretta. Counseling Lesbian Partners. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997. Marshall writes to those who want to provide sensitive and appropriate care to women in lesbian relationships. Marshall confronts theological questions and offers a biblical response in addition to exercises in self-reflection. The book is 161 pages & includes bibliographic references and index.

Nelson, James B. Between Two Gardens: Reflections on Sexuality and Religious Experience. NY: Pilgrim Press, 1983.

Open Hands: Resources for Ministries Affirming the Diversity of Human Sexuality. Issues specifically regarding covenant relationships include "The ‘Holy Union' Controversy" (Fall 1990), and Same-Sex Unions (Spring 1997). 

Sherman, Suzanne, ed. Lesbian and Gay Marriage: Private Commitments, Public Ceremonies. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992.

Stuart, Elizabeth. Daring to Speak Love's Name: A Gay and Lesbian Prayer Book. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1992. With a British-Anglican approach, Stuart addresses celebrating relationship, housewarmings, and coming out.

Uhrig, Larry. The Two of Us: Affirming, Celebrating and Symbolizing Gay and Lesbian Relationships. Boston: Alyson Publications, Inc., 1984

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