During the Same Sex Marriage debate I searched Quaker Faith & Practice for some insights. Section 22.33 tells us that “Marriage is a context for a relationship, not a guarantee of its quality.” While acknowledging that many good relationships exist outside the institution of marriage, the statement reminds us that “In marriage a private relationship becomes public, and thereby receives legitimacy, practical support and blessing from social institutions and the worshipping group.”
Although unions between same-sex attracted couples already had acceptance from Quaker worshipping groups, social acceptance is vital to true equality. Evan Gallagher’s article looks over this importance change in Australian society, the strains that the process placed upon the LGBTIQ community and the part that Quakers played in it.
We have also looked for articles by those from “non-standard” families, and are grateful to those who have shared their experiences. We rejoice in the resilience of our families, and in the love which these families foster.
We are also reminded in the notes of Quaker Service Australia of the importance of extended family members, especially grandparents, and of the value of questioning cultural assumptions about the relationship between different family members.
Some of the articles received this time are about our Quaker forbears, members as it were of the Quaker family. Like the members of our Quaker family today they were not perfect, but they have something to teach us and we have much to be grateful for.
Keep sending us your contributions! We love to hear how the Spirit is moving in our meetings, and how the Spirit is moving us out of our meetings and into the world. We would also like to know if there are areas of importance to Quakers which the journal is not covering,
In our next issue we are looking outward to the world. How are we engaging with Quakers or other Christians in other countries? What can we contribute to the world? What have we learnt by travelling to other countries?