the friend online
05 December 2008


George Fox and same gender partnership - preview

Christopher Bagley suggests that Quakers should look to France for a model for ‘God’s wedding’

As a gay Quaker, I read with keen interest the minute on committed partnerships issued by Meeting for Sufferings in London in November 2008
  • This issue of granting same- and opposite-sex partnerships similar status has been considered by Friends at various levels for over a year now

  • Unfortunately, the Meeting for Sufferings document does not seem to take us any further forward, apart from proposing that the use of the word ‘marriage’ in Quaker procedures needs clarification
  • For this purpose we are recommended to study and consider changes to chapter sixteen, on Quaker marriage procedure, in Quaker faith & practice

  • Christopher Bagley

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    Chris Bagley, 30 June
    I found this response both depressing and humiliating. This is one of the many homophobic responses I have received because of the expression of my views. My only sin is love! But I love the 'wrong ' kind of person, another man. Will God reject me because I am a homosexual? I receive grudging tolerance from many (but certainly not all) Quakers, but this is not enough. I want to be fully accepted for what and who I am, a man who loves another man. There is only one kind of love, not just 'right', heterosexual love. I do believe that I am loved and cared for by God. If only, if only, Quakers could do the same.

    Vernon White, 06 December
    Having recruited both God and George Fox to his point of view, Christopher Bagley (The Friend, 5 December 2008) seeks to overthrow the discerned Minute of Meeting for Sufferings (S/08/11/ 3: Committed Partnerships: Report from Quaker Life Central Committee).

    He would have learnt, if he had read the whole of the Minute, that the process of revising Quaker Faith & Practice, chapter 16 has begun (along the lines of points 1 to 4 of the Quaker Life Minute), and that Quaker Life is already working on “Equality Awareness” processes and considering how committed relationships might be recorded in the Tabular statement.

    Meeting for Sufferings offered to move forward, cautiously, starting with “discussions . . . at local and area meetings and at Yearly Meeting, including sharing patterns and models of celebrating and upholding same sex committed relationships within our meetings”.

    What is Christopher Bagley's divine process of discernment? Perhaps it is no greater than his understanding of Quaker history.


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    News round-up
    ‘Yes, clerk’ – on being a Quaker ‘civil servant’
    Marigold Bentley
    George Fox and same gender partnership
    Christopher Bagley
    Ian K Watson and Tony Crofts
    From Minden to Kathmandu
    Philip Holmes
    Occupied with nonviolence
    Marisa Johnson
    Minding the arts
    Paul Green
    William James and the psychology of faith
    Rachel Britton

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