1,200 members give unanimous approval for gay partnerships and call for law reform
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Published on The Guardian, by Riazat Butt, 31 July 2009.
The Quakers today agreed to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples and said they would ask the government to change the law to allow Quaker registering officers to register same-sex partnerships in the same way as marriages.
At their annual meeting, held at the University of York, 1200 members gave their unanimous approval to revise relevant parts of Quaker faith and practice to treat gay marriages in the same way as heterosexual unions.
Michael Hutchinson, of Quakers in Britain, said: “Many of our meetings have told us that there are homosexual couples who consider themselves to be married and believe this is as much a testimony of divine grace as a heterosexual marriage. They miss the public recognition of this in a religious ceremony.”
Following the Civil Partnership Act of December 2005, same sex couples in England, Wales and Scotland who share Quaker beliefs may opt for a blessing or commitment ceremony after entering a civil partnership …
… Resolving the hotly disputed issue of homosexuality in the church has not been as easy for other religious groups. This week the archbishop of Canterbury conceded the matter had caused an irreparable division in the Anglican communion. (full text).