This statement was agreed to in unity at the 2004 NPYM meeting representing over 50 congregations of one branch of Friends (Quakers) from the five Northwestern States. Quaker meetings in Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Portland, Salem, and the Rogue Valley also have public statements supporting marriage equality.
Since 1989 Oregon Quakers have performed marriages of same-sex couples; a practice deeply considered from religious, moral, and personal perspectives. We believe such marriages are good and right in the eyes of God. We urge you to respect our religious freedoms and beliefs and vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 36 which would limit marriage.
Why are Quakers taking a stand contrary to social traditions? Quakers have opposed many unjust traditions, such as slavery and denying women the right to vote. Laws that enshrine unequal treatment of people are wrong. Such laws follow the worst traditions of discrimination. They are at odds with traditions of equality.
We support the tradition that marriage vows are a public statement of love and commitment between two people. Our State laws should support all marriages equally.
It is not fair that 5% of committed Oregonian couples, including those married by Quaker meetings, are excluded from the hundreds of legal benefits of marriage
Quakers are not trying to tell anyone what to believe. Similarly, the State Constitution shouldn't be rewritten making our belief in marriage equality illegal. Although religions have different views on marriage, our laws should provide equal benefits to all.
Churches aren't required to sanction marriages contrary to their beliefs. Equally, churches opposing marriage equality should not impose laws which prohibit us from celebrating marriages according to our beliefs.
Support religious freedom. Vote No on Constitutional Amendment 36.
(This information furnished by Bonnie Tinker, North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).)