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Religious group welcomes new move

Set the date: Same sex couples can marry from March

Set the date: Same sex couples can marry from March

A religious group in Preston has welcomed the announcement that same sex weddings will be able to take place from March next year.

Equalities Minister Maria Miller this week said the first marriages in England and Wales could take place from March 29, after it was initially thought they would not happen until next summer.

And Preston’s Quaker community said they were “absolutely delighted” by the move.

Margaret Jackson, clerk of Preston local Quaker meeting, said: “We made up our minds about 50 years ago.

“And at our yearly meeting three years ago there was a lot of discussion about same sex marriage and in the end, we stated our acceptance and our wish to see this come about.

“We’ve had to wait for the legalities to be sorted out.”

Mrs Jackson said there hadn’t been any bookings for weddings at the Quaker meeting house in Preston so far, but said they would be welcome.

She said: “It is good news and it’s been a long time coming.

“Same sex weddings will be welcomed in Quaker meeting houses.”

Same sex weddings will not take place in Catholic or Church of England churches in Preston, and will not yet be allowed in Methodist churches.

Rev Mark Slaney, superintendant minister for Methodist churches in the Preston Ribble circuit, said: “For us in the Methodist church, at this moment in time we stand by what we call the biblical understanding of marriage which is one man and one woman for life.

“If we were to revisit that, there’s a process we could follow but there’s no way we could do that by March.”

He added: “We recognise that some things are so important that, rather than making a decision from the top, we believe the church is at its best when all of us get involved in the exploration of decision.”

 

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