Monday, January 11th, 2010
Australian Quakers, meeting in their annual meeting in Adelaide today, called on the Federal Government to amend the Marriage Act to give full and equal legal recognition to all marriages, regardless of the sexual orientation and gender of the partners.

‘Australian Quakers celebrated our first same sex marriage in 2007 and seeking legal recognition for such unions is consistent with our long held spiritual belief in the equality of all people’, said Lyndsay Farrall, Presiding Clerk of Australia Yearly Meeting.

‘Ongoing discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender under Australian law is a matter of growing disquiet for Quakers’, Lyndsay Farrall said.

Quakers agreed today to practise full marriage equality within Quaker Meetings around Australia, including celebrating the spiritual aspects of same sex weddings, and expressed their hope that the Marriage Act will be amended as soon as possible to allow Quakers to support such couples to full legal recognition.

Quakers have taken steps to recognise the equality for lesbian and gay people over three decades and have celebrated same sex and mixed sex commitment ceremonies since 1994.

Australian Quakers’ decision is consistent with developments among Quakers internationally, including the decision of British Quakers in July 2009 to prepare, celebrate, witness, record and report same sex marriages to the state in the same way as opposite sex marriages.

Quakers have historically worked for the equality of women and the abolition of slavery, racism and religious intolerance. Our work for equality continues today, including support for Indigenous peoples, refugees and others.

Media contact: Lyndsay Farrall (0419190147)

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