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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

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pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.


legal recognition of quaker marriage

 Early Friends struggled to gain recognition of their marriages. In a 1661 case involving inheritance for children of Friends, an appeal was made to the English court seeking legal recognition of Quaker marriages. It was successful, and subsequent marriages have been recorded and legally recognized in England. In the United States, recognition of Quaker marriages is determined by individual states.

 Today, most Quaker couples record their marriages with legal authorities. <See Appendix 6d for the requirements in different parts of Pacific Yearly Meeting>. The legal institution of marriage carries with it certain rights and responsibilities, as defined by the State. The laws concerning who may marry are changing. Once illegal in many states, interracial marriages are now granted full legal recognition. Marriages between same-gender couples may be undergoing a similar change. Friends’ concern for equity in the legal rights of same-gender couples is affirmed in Pacific Yearly Meeting Minute 96-14. <See Appendix 6c.>