The Religious Society of Friends in Britain, generally known as the Quakers, have called on Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to support the inclusion of same-sex couples in the definition of marriage in their address to the monarch on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.
The Quakers were among the Privileged Bodies who were invited to address Her Majesty, and the ceremony took place at the Buckingham Palace earlier today. Twelve representatives from the community attended, and the text of the Loyal Address was read to the Queen by Joycelin Dawes, clerk and chair of trustees at Quaker Social Action and associate tutor at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham.
“Our commitment to equality led us in 2009 to seek a change in the law to provide for same sex and opposite sex marriages on an equal basis,” the text of the address reads. “This is because of our deeply held belief that we see the light of God in everyone which leads us to respect the inherent worth of each individual and each loving relationship. We see the recent move to allow the celebration of civil partnerships on religious premises as a step towards full equality in marriage.”
The current government proposals, which seeks to extend the definition of marriage to allow for equality, will however forbid same-sex ceremonies from being held in religious premises, even if they would want to, a move that has been criticised by the liberal denominations of Christian and Jewish faiths.
The Loyal Address also lamented Britain’s involvement in armed conflicts around the world, and pledged a committment to reducing human footprint on the environment.