There are a few religious groups that rarely, if ever, feature in the Prattle. Some, seem to think, conspiratorially, that Judaism never features but the responses demonstrate that that is not the case. No, the group that most notably never features here is the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers. And today's news demonstrates why: whilst other denominations are spewing out homophobic hate speech, the Quakers have been quietly thinking about it (for 20 years, apparently), and today a decision was made:
This open sharing of personal experience has moved us and added to our clear sense that, 22 years after the prospect was first raised at Meeting for Sufferings we are being led 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. The question of legal recognition by the state is secondary.
We therefore ask Meeting for Sufferings to take steps to put this leading into practice and to arrange for a draft revision of the relevant sections of Quaker faith and practice, so that same sex marriages can be prepared, celebrated, witnessed, recorded and reported to the state, as opposite sex marriages are. We also ask Meeting for Sufferings to engage with our governments to seek a change in the relevant laws so that same sex marriages notified in this way can be recognised as legally valid, without further process, in the same way as opposite sex marriages celebrated in our meetings. We will not at this time require our registering officers to act contrary to the law, but understand that the law does not preclude them from playing a central role in the celebration and recording of same sex marriages.
News release and background on Committed Relationships paper for YMG09—Quakers In Britain, n.d., but the press release itself is 31st July 2009.