British Quakers want to marry same-sex couples when they convert their civil unions

The Quakers church in the UK are concerned that same-sex couples who are converting their civil partnerships to marriage will not have the option of doing that in a church

British Quakers want to marry same-sex couples when they convert their civil unions
24 July 2014

The Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends in Britain, have gone public with their concern that same-sex couples who are converting their civil partnerships to marriages in England and Wales will only be able to do that via register offices and not by a church wedding.

Churches in the UK register the marriages they perform with the government and the Quakers want to be able to perform their members’ same-sex marriages just as they do for opposite-sex Quaker couples.

Instead, if the government’s plans go ahead, from 10 December this year couples in civil partnerships who convert those to marriages will be issued ‘certificates of conversion,’ by register offices instead of marriage certificates and that is the only mechanism that has been provided for that to occur.

The Quakers would like to perform those marriages in their churches instead and issue certificates to those couples and then register them with the government as they do with heterosexual marriages.

‘This is more than a formality for those in civil partnerships,’ Quakers recording clerk Paul Parker said.

‘It is deeply unfair that Quaker couples are denied their opportunity to celebrate their long-term loving relationships in their worshiping community.’

Quakers in Britain welcomed the law passed last year enabling same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry and they still eagerly anticipate the day when all Quaker marriages can be celebrated, recorded, and reported to the state in exactly the same way.

However when the law came into force in March, the process of drafting secondary legislation left those already in civil partnerships out of the celebrations.

Draft regulations for the government’s plans around civil partnerships and marriage were published this week and will be before the House of Lords on Tuesday 29 July and the Quakers hope that changes can be made to allow their churches to be part of the conversion process when people in civil partnerships become married.

The Quakers were one of the earliest Christian churches in the world to become LGBTI affirming and they have a long history of campaigning for LGBTI people’s rights.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

Utah gay man staged hate crimes in a 'cry for help,' says attorney

Utah gay man staged hate crimes in a 'cry for help,' says attorney

The man acknowledged carving the words 'die fag' on his arm among other purported crimes
No thumbnail available

New Mexico Supreme Court to hear gay marriage case next week

Case will determine if state will become 15th in the US to allow same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Gay Facebook founder's husband to run for US Congress

Sean Eldridge, husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, is planning to run for a seat in New York in 2014
No thumbnail available

Video game writer blames ‘sales fears’ for lack of gay protagonists

Lucien Soulban, a writer for Ubisoft, says major video game franchises don’t include gay protagonists because of ‘fears that it’ll impact sales’  
Years & Years: 'It's sad gay popstars don't use male pronouns'

Years & Years: 'It's sad gay popstars don't use male pronouns'

Band's gay frontman tried to change that on debut album
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

The Secret Gay Life of Batman in 20 (Slightly Awkward) Moments

Holy smokes! Batman, one of the campest and homoerotic characters from superhero history, is 75 years old
No thumbnail available

California marriage war rages on

Proposition 8 parties due back in court for hearing on two major motions
No thumbnail available

First gay man appointed to lead US rabbinical association

Baltimore rabbi Jason Klein has been elected to the role of president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association in what is the first time that a gay man has been appointed to lead a Jewish religious order in the US