YORK, England, July 31 (UPI) -- Quakers have become the first mainstream religious denomination in England to sanction gay marriage, a human rights campaigner says.
More than 1,600 Quakers meeting in York voted Friday to request the legal authority to allow Quaker registering officers to treat same-sex partnerships the same as marriages, reports Peter Tatchell of the British equality group OutRage!
Tatchell says the action by the Quakers "exposes the homophobia of other faiths that refuse to recognize love and commitment between couples of the same sex."
Quaker registrars, like rabbis and Church of England priests, have the authority to marry heterosexual couples on behalf of the state.
Currently, the British government allows same-sex couples to register their civil partnerships but stops short of counting them as married even though they have almost exactly the same legal rights for purposes of property, pensions and inheritance.