the friend online
26 June 2009


Marriage and committed relationships - preview
I write this in love and in the spirit of unity

  • In the run-up to the main topic this year at Yearly Meeting Gathering (YMG) of Committed Relationships there have been articles and letters in the Friend which seem to be attempting to sway opinions and influence the outcomes
  • They have led me to believe there is a move to suggest a ‘fait accompli’
  • Despite the plea from Gill Coffin (5 June) for ‘trust in the process of discernment, in a spirit of worship, seeking God’s guidance’ her whole article is a presumption that equality is understood by all in the Society to mean ‘the same’
  • I agree same values but not quite the same outcome, and I’m not alone
  • I have received many letters, emails and cards throughout Britain Yearly Meeting urging me to continue to have my small voice heard, albeit deafened at times by vociferous Friends who feel a deep hurt
  • I, too, am hurting

  • Pamala McDougall

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    Fee Berry, 06 August
    I think that part of being a Quaker is learning to respect that other people believe things I can't agree with, and do things I don't agree with. If I want the freedom to do the things I think are right, I have to allow other people that freedom too. In this case it is the writer of this article I find challenging. All the Quakers and non-Quakers I have talked to support this change to allow same sex marriages as long overdue.

    When it comes to same sex marriages, I applaud the minute from yearly meeting. The point is... no one should be forced to attend or participate in a marriage unless they choose to do so. I see the outward witnessing and administrative aspects of a Quaker marriage as the least of it really: what counts is not the sex or sexual orientation of the people involved, but what is in their hearts.

    Chris Bagley, 30 June
    As a homosexual, I am deeply distressed by this contribution. Why cannot my commitment to my same-sexed partner be considered 'a marriage'? I am demeaned by the attitude expressed in this article, and if there are many in in the Society of Friends who feel this way, as the author implies, then I can no longer remain in Membership in a Society which retains elements of institutional homophobia.


    This week's .pdf
    In this week's online edition... rss edition

    Quakers working against climate change
    Oliver Robertson
    Reflections on the situation in Iran
    Jane Harries
    News round-up

    Marriage and committed relationships
    Pamala McDougall
    Quaker contradictions
    John Myhill
    The Julian Meetings
    Beth Rowlands

    From music hall to hip hop
    Trish Carn
    Art therapy and anger
    Hilary Brazell
    New Light
    Claire Disbrey
    Fox the mystic preacher
    Jack Squires
    How to survive asylum
    Judy Kirby
    Saving Rafael
    Leslie Wilson
    Q-eye: a Quaker look at the world


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    most recent comments:
    Letters, Ala
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    Some more equal than others?, anonymous poster
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    The top ten reasons (plus three) why bottled water is a blessing, Fee Berry
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