Quakers in Britain have welcomed government moves to allow the celebration of same-sex marriages to occur in places of worship.
Paul Parker, recording clerk for Quakers in Britain commented today (8 December 2012): “Quakers have been discussing sexuality for fifty years. We see God in everyone and believe all committed loving relationships are of equal worth and should be celebrated in the same way.
“That is why, since 2009, we’ve been asking for the law to allow our same-sex Quaker couples to have a spiritual celebration within their worshipping community; not just a civil partnership which is a legal contract.”
While looking forward to examining the detail of legislation for England and Wales to be published this week, the recording clerk said that Quakers see this as an issue of religious freedom and do not seek to impose their preferred practice on others.
Michael Bartlet, parliamentary liaison secretary for Quakers in Britain added: “Liberty is a two way street. It means not just that Quakers can conduct same-sex marriages in their meeting houses but that Anglicans and Catholics have the liberty not to do so.”
Around 23,000 people attend nearly 475 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change, they say.
* A video recorded for out4marriage, along with the submission to the consultation and a briefing, “We are but Witnesses”, setting out Quaker thinking on equal marriage, can be viewed here: http://www.quaker.org.uk/equalsubmission