Quakers in Britain have welcomed today’s vote (5 February) in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
Recording Clerk Paul Parker said: “This is the change in the law we have been seeking since 2009, when Quakers decided to recognise same-sex marriages. It is good to see that ministers and MPs have listened and voted for equality.
“We are excited to see this Bill. Three and a half years ago Quakers decided that same-sex couples should be able to marry in a Quaker meeting. Since then we have been waiting for the law to catch up. Today that has come a step closer.
“Quakers worship in inclusive meetings, where all committed loving relationships can be witnessed and spiritually celebrated as marriage. Quakers see God in everyone and that leads us to say all are born equal and our love is equal too. We welcome this law, knowing that it is right for us, and that it will not be imposed on other faith bodies who do not yet share our view.”
MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the government's legislation for same-sex marriage in England and Wales by 400 to 175: a majority of 225 in favour of the legislation.
Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends.
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.