An exploration of lived religion in same-sex couples from judeo-christian traditions

Sharon Scales Rostosky, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Carolyn Brodnicki, Amber Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Religious involvement has been found to be associated with higher levels of commitment and relationship satisfaction among heterosexually married individuals (Mahoney et al., 1999). Little is known, however, about the religiosity of gay, lesbian, bisexual (GLB) individuals, and virtually nothing is known about religious involvement in same-sex couples. The purpose of this qualitative interview study was to examine couples' experiences of incorporating religious involvement into their committed relationships. In a sample of 14 same-sex couples, we found that couples used their spiritual/religious values to understand and undergird their relationships. In this process, they negotiated intra-couple differences in religious practices, involved themselves in activities that have religious or spiritual meaning to them, created religious social support for their relationships, and experienced some non-supportive or rejecting interpersonal interactions with religious family members, congregants, and strangers. These findings are instructive to therapists who work with same-sex couples and the family members of GLB individuals. We conclude with specific suggestions for practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Qualitative
  • Religion
  • Same-sex couples
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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