For Quaker Week, the Religious Society of Friends is advertising on PinkNews in a bid to reach out and welcome LGBT people. They explain their stance below:
Quakers welcome lesbian, gay and bisexual, non-binary and transgender people.
We affirm the love of God for all people, whatever their sexuality or gender identity.
In 2009 we asked the government to change the law to treat same-sex partnerships in the same way as opposite-sex marriages. Now same-sex Quaker couples may marry in our meeting houses.
On the meaning of marriage, in 2014, writer and Quaker Rosie Bailey wrote for PinkNews: “As human beings we long to experience love, to find it central in our lives; we want not only to be given love but to give it.
“Love liberates us from the prison of ourselves. The true measure of an intimate relationship is its degree of selfless love, a love that isn’t proprietorial or exploitative, but tender, responsible, committed, equal; a love that feeds its transforming messages of hope and happiness benevolently into society day after day.”
Believing that each life is sacred and of unique worth leads Quakers to work in countless ways for a more equal, peaceful and sustainable world.
Quakerism is a way of life, rather than a set of beliefs. Quakers seek to experience God directly, within themselves and with the world around them.
The bedrock of the Quaker way is the silent meeting for worship; out of the communal gathered stillness comes the strength to work for peace, equality, simplicity and truth.
Often at the cutting edge of social change, Quakers were the first church in Britain to push for equal marriage and the first to disinvest from fossil fuel extraction.
When conscription was introduced in World War I, Quakers worked with others for the conscience clause.
They refused to fight because they refused to kill. They saved lives, instead of taking lives. Quakers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for war relief work.