Chapter 16 » 16.10

The meaning of marriage

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.

Transient as we are, we long for permanence. Most people, deep down, want relationships that offer that ever-after quality that novels discover on their final pages. Marriage, tried and tested over centuries, is one of the best ways in which such everlastingness is helped to happen.

Quakers believe that same-sex marriage is important because we believe that we are all equal, and because we believe the quality of the love we offer to our partners is the same as everyone else’s. 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.

Rosie Bailey, 2014

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