From Mixed-Orientation Marriage to Queer Covenant: A Ceremony of Release and Embrace

A couple of weeks ago, Wendy wrote a blog post about mixed-orientation marriages in the Generous Space Community. (Mixed-orientation marriages (MOMs) usually include one spouse who is straight, and one who is on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.)

In Wendy’s blog post, she acknowledged that there is no single “right” path for MOMs. There are all kinds of factors that influence the way couples choose to proceed.

  1. Some LGBTQ+ spouses have more fluidity in their attractions than others.

  2. Some couples are aware of the LGBTQ+ spouse’s orientation before getting married; some are not.

  3. Some have young children, some have older children, some have no children.

  4. Some have supportive friends and communities of faith where they can speak openly about the unique challenges of their marriage, and some do not.

  5. Some MOMs have navigated the added challenge of dealing with one or both spouse’s infidelity.

Differences like these make it unwise to collapse MOMs into a single narrative, or to recommend a “one-size-fits-all” course of action. In our community, we seek to make space for MOM couples no matter what they decide. Still, we tend to see two main outcomes: couples either choose to remain in their marriage, or they divorce.

But for Pieter and Susie Niemeyer, a MOM couple in the Ontario Generous Space Community, neither of these options seemed like a good fit.

It had been three years since Pieter, a Mennonite pastor, had come out to Susie as a gay man, and they had journeyed together through the difficult process of coming out more publicly