A Quaker view

John W. Burgeson (73531.1501@compuserve.com)
16 Aug 96 13:53:54 EDT

A colleague just received a copy of a statement issued by the Pacific Yearly
Meeting of the Society of Friends (a/k/a Quakers), representing Quakers in
California, Hawai'i, Nevada and Mexico. The statement was issued August 9th, and
is titled "Equality of Marriage Rights." Here is his summary:

The statement describes some of the reasons Quakers recognize marriages: "to
affirm individuals in their choice, to support loving families, and to
strenghten the spiritual community." Moreover, it is a fundamental precept of
Quaker belief to "honor the equality and integrity of all human beings."

The yearly meeting of the Pacific Congress therefore announced that it believes
"the State should permit gay and lesbian couples to marry and share fully in the
rights and responsibilities of marriage." This is based on Quakers' historical
faith and testimony. And because the State's legal recognition of
opposite-gender marriage "extends significant privileges... a commitment to
equality requires that same-gender couples have the same rights and privileges."

This statement was distributed by h.e.r.m.p. - the Hawai'i Equal Rights Marriage

As a one-time Quaker (Ohio Yearly Meeting), I can understand their position
rather well. I'd probably not go as far as they have -- a "domestic partners"
terminology would seem to be more useful.