NEWS RELEASE: Quaker Lesbian & Gay Fellowship welcomes Commons vote on Equal Marriage
6 February 2013
The Quaker Lesbian & Gay Fellowship (QLGF) has welcomed the House of Commons vote in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill last night. Rosalind Mitchell, Media Officer for QLGF, said today: “We are all very excited about this change in the law. Quakers have accepted the right of same-sex couples to a spiritual celebration of their union for nearly four years now, and it’s good to see that Parliament has listened and voted for this move towards equality.
“Quakers see God in all people, and this leads us to see all people as equal before God. When they gather together in meetings, which are welcoming and open to all, they are able to witness all committed loving relationships and celebrate them in the spirit”.
In 2013 it will be the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Towards a Quaker View of Sex” and the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Friends Homosexual Fellowship, our predecessor organisation. QLGF’s committee, meeting yesterday, plans to mark this historic year.
First, we will encourage the membership to revisit and remember what FHF and QLGF were set up to do. Then we will go on to review together what we are doing now, and, most importantly, to think about what we should do next.
The context has changed so much since 1973 – do we still need QLGF, and, if we do, what should be the focus? We will begin by consulting our membership, by email, snail mail, through our Newsletter, and at our next Gathering (October 20, Lancaster).
But we hope to widen the consultation after that, and then in 2013… well, what we do will depend on the responses we get!
Let us know your views, and help us to celebrate in 2013!
Woodbrooke, the Quaker residential study centre in Birmingham, has places still available for its course Quakers for Equality: Embracing the LGBT Community
For the past 5 years Manchester and Warrington Friends have worked with Manchester Gay Pride to engage with the LGBT community. We’ve hosted ceilidhs, information evenings, outdoor meetings for worship, walked in the pride parade, run a stall and protested. We’d like to share our experiences and help the Quaker community explore engaging with the LGBT community. Manchester Pride Committee, which includes both sexes and heterosexual, gay and lesbian members, was formed to formalise our Area Meeting’s commitment to Manchester Pride.
The course will run from Wednesday, 9 May to Friday 11 May and the cost is £180 with standard Woodbrooke accommodation, £190 with en-suite accommodation. Woodbrooke is keen to help those, Quakers or non-Quakers, who would otherwise be prevented from attending its courses and bursaries are available. Check the Woodbrooke site for details of further sources of funding.