Quakers are Good People

Posted: 4 August 2009 in civil rights, human rights, religion

…and my vacation’s over.

England’s Quakers have approved same-sex marriage.  Now, most of the main-line Quakers here in the states don’t bat an eye at the concept, and apparently neither do the Brits, but this is more than just a simple acceptance.  Here in Pennsylvania, we have a type of marriage certificate called “self-officiating,” or more colloquially called a “Quaker License.”  Quakers don’t have religious leaders per se, so there’s no one in charge to officiate the wedding.  Now, apparently in Britain, Quaker marriages aren’t just a special class, they’re automatically recognized, which presents the government with a unique dilemma.  They’ll either have to recognize any same-sex marriage solemnized in a Quaker meeting as 100% valid, or change a law that’s nearly 400 years old to strip a religious denomination of a long-established right.  And, of course, if the Quakers are allowed to perform same-sex marriages, then everyone else is going to have to be allowed to.

It’s a minor victory that has the chance to be a major victory.

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