British Quakers agree to same-sex marriages

Posted by Kendall Harmon

British Quakers agreed Friday to celebrate gay marriages and called on the government to recognise same-sex unions as legally valid.

At the religious group’s yearly meeting in York, the Quakers in Britain said they would ask the government to change the law to allow them to register same-sex marriages in the same way as heterosexual ones.

Gay rights campaigners said it was a “trail-blazing decision” after the issue of homosexual unions had opened deep divisions in other faiths.

Since 2005 same sex couples have been able to enter into civil partnerships in Britain which, while giving gay relationships legal status, are not considered a marriage.

The Quakers agreed “to 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 said in a statement.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

9 Comments
Posted July 31, 2009 at 4:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. azusa wrote:

Hmm, what *did the Quaker say to his wife? smile

July 31, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
2. Randy Muller wrote:

This must be a group of fast Quakers!

July 31, 4:34 pm | [comment link]
3. KevinBabb wrote:

Isn’t there a conservative branch of the Friends that would not go for this?  I think that the Friends, like the Mennonites, are divided fairly evenly into a radical, “mod” group like that described in the article, and a more traditional, Christian group that emphasizes moral conduct and lifestyle.

July 31, 4:45 pm | [comment link]
4. Milton wrote:

I didn’t know Quakers drank Kool-Aid. :>(

July 31, 8:01 pm | [comment link]
5. libraryjim wrote:

Kevin,
Yes, there is.  I remember reading some time ago when I was researching Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline” and later his “Renovare” teachings, that there is a group of Quakers who are trying to get the Society back to Jesus, as some are way more ‘universalist’ in their theology. 

By the way, Foster is one of those calling for a revival movement among the Friends. His central teaching in Renovare is:

In utter dependence upon Jesus Christ as my everliving Savior, Teacher, Lord, and Friend, I will seek continual renewal through:

  * Spiritual exercises,
  * Spiritual gifts, and
  * Acts of service.

July 31, 9:40 pm | [comment link]
6. deaconjohn25 wrote:

Sadly, the great church communities which grew out of the Protestant Reformation are falling into evil and decadence one by one. Now the Quakers fall for the modernist, relativist moral insanity of gay marriage. I just saw in a magazine article that the newly elected bishop of Stockholm, Sweden (Lutheran I presume, but maybe some Episcopal variation) is openly lesbian and living in a registered homosexual partnership with another lesbian priest(ess). She had received a church blessing for for this partnership. The story also says she was easily elected as a bishop.

July 31, 10:27 pm | [comment link]
7. TLDillon wrote:

Wormwood is again jumping for joy!

July 31, 10:55 pm | [comment link]
8. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

This was discussed on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Program.  I was very surprised to learn that in the UK the Quakers are now down to under 25,000 members!

August 1, 5:01 am | [comment link]
9. BlueOntario wrote:

Checking in late due to vacation.
There are different flavors of Friends. In America the Friends went through several major schisms in the first half of the nineteenth century regarding the place of scripture. In simplified terms, those who took the Hicksite position believed the “Inner Light” held more authority than the Bible and the Orthodox Quakers did not. It was an interesting struggle for controls over meetings and correspondence and not unlike the recent efforts found in TEC and with similar results.

Subsequent schisms and reunions leave us with the Friends meetings we have today. The smaller modern Conservative Quaker meetings more closely reflect early Quaker theology, which was biblically based. There is also a (relatively) larger group of evangelical Friends, also regarding the scriptures highly, who developed meetings more similar to those found in Protestant churches. The other and largest Friends meetings are more universalist.

August 6, 9:18 am | [comment link]
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