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.
Britain's Quakers formally began their discussions on same-sex partnerships at their Yearly Meeting yesterday. They are considering whether to carry out commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples on the same basis as heterosexual weddings.
Around 1,600 Quakers will gather in York tomorrow for their week-long annual conference. The event is likely to be dominated by a decision on whether to carry out same-sex commitment ceremonies on the same basis as heterosexual weddings.
Bishops in the US Episcopal Church have voted by a majority of more than three to one to take steps towards formally allowing blessings for same-sex partnerships. They will prepare resources before making a decision in three years time.
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.
Christian groups have turned out in strength at today's Pride festival in London, affirming their support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. A much smaller number of Christians turned up to protest against the event.