The Quakers have become the first major denomination in Britain to endorse same-sex marriage, putting themselves in conflict with the law. Their example is an inspiration to people in other denominations struggling for equality.
Emotions ran high in York this morning as Quakers agreed to carry out same-sex marriages on the same basis as marriages for opposite-sex couples. The decision came after an intense week of debate and reflection at British Quakers' Yearly Meeting.
Britain's Quakers appear to be on the brink of a decision to put same-sex and heterosexual marriage on an equal footing. This morning will see the final stage of their discussions on the issue at their Yearly Meeting in York.
Some hardline pressure groups within the church are sucking marriage into a narrow religious ghetto, associating it with suburban 1950s curtain-twitching, thus making it even less popular than it is now, says Giles Fraser.
In a historic and controversial move, the Episcopal Church in the USA, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has voted to remove the bar on priests in monogamous same-sex relationships from becoming bishops.
The targeting and scapegoating of vulnerable groups can undermine the very values which are supposedly being defended, says Savi Hensman. She also sets out the strong Christian case against such practices.