Sunday, August 2, 2009

Britain's Quakers Ready for Same Sex Marriage

This past week, Albania made noise toward same sex union (!), and now the Quakers in the United Kingdom are making moves toward recognizing same sex marriage (thanks, Michael Barham for this tip).

From the BBC, this report:

The BBC says that the Quakers "had been more prepared than other groups to reinterpret the Bible in the light of contemporary life."

Ekklesia describes the debate:

The decision came after an intense week of debate and reflection at the Quakers' Yearly Meeting in York.

Emotions ran high in the discussions and several people of various views were visibly in tears. Many participants hugged each other and expressed delight as the decision was reached.

People working for equality and inclusion within other churches and faith groups will be encouraged by the decision.

Quakers are now likely to face a difficult time with the law, which currently offers same-sex couples only civil partnerships, in which no religious element is allowed.

The statement agreed by the Religious Society of Friends, as Quakers are otherwise known, comes 22 years after they began formal consideration of the issue.

The Quakers agreed this morning that they would “treat same-sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite-sex marriages, reaffirming our central insight that marriage is the Lord's work and we are but witnesses”

They further declared that “the question of legal recognition by the state is secondary”.

Quaker same-sex marriages will now be “prepared, celebrated, witnessed, recorded and reported to the state in the same way as opposite-sex marriages”.

There is something moving in the air.

Change is coming.

Pace! B

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