A Working Document Created by Living Room Conversation Participants
- We agree that there is more to learn about these questions – and that no group or human being has “all the answers.” For this reason, most can agree that there is value in being tentative, open to being wrong and holding space for uncertainty (alongside equal value in being convicted when one has confidence in a particular position).
- As this conversation continues in America, diverse voices should be respected, and given the space to be heard and considered. This includes both religious and non-religious voices. As part of this, we value the right for each person to tell their own story.
- We also agree that individuals should have the freedom of self-determination – allowing them to chart their own path, in living and loving as they choose. This includes both the choice to identify as gay and the choice to not identify as gay.
- Language that is clearly abusive, vilifying, harsh and aggressive ought to be challenged and even condemned. In doing so, we recognize that on issues involving intense passions, accusations of hostility can be directed rapidly at anything that feels uncomfortable. For that reason, we agree that these accusations should not be made quickly, automatically or without critical discussion about what they mean and where they apply.
- The physical and emotional well-being and safety of those who identify as either LGBTQ, SSA, or something else is crucial – as are continued efforts to prevent suicide and homelessness.
- All things being equal, more commitment, fidelity and stability is better than less in romantic relationships – whether partners be of the same or opposite sex.
- Even amidst disagreement on legal and definitional questions, we agree that marriage is an important and valuable institution – as reflected in this excerpt from the majority SCOTUS opinion: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
- Loving, caring relationships are something all people can honor; abusive relationships are something all people can condemn.
- The health and well-being of children is crucial and important. They should not come into the world casually and ought be raised in a healthy, loving home where they receive support and love from parents who are committed to each other in an enduring (ideally married) relationship?
- Most people want to see a healthy society – and care about the well-being of America.
 In articulating these ten points, we acknowledge there will ALWAYS be some who won’t, don’t or can’t agree with some of these points. These are offered not as universal agreements, but as common ground that many people on “both sides” (or many sides) of this larger divide might agree. We have purposively selected those areas of common ground that feel most likely to draw the highest possible level of broad support.
 Some of these statements are deliberately broad and non-specific in order to emphasize a principle or assertion that can be honored and respected. For instance, while all can agree children deserve a healthy and loving home – what exactly that looks like varies considerably – e.g., Is hearing the teachings of classic Christianity loving and healthy? Is being taught to affirm gay marriage loving and healthy? Similarly, while all can agree that the well-being of the LGBT- and SSA-identified populations is crucial, how exactly to promote and protect that widely varies.
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