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One thing that strikes me about the current debate is how on the anti-same-sex-marriage side it ends up resting on men and women having "God-given" differentiated roles. And yet as of the last couple generations, we as a society do not generally enforce those roles: equal employment, men acting as stay-home parents, equal treatment under the law for property in marriage... all are apparently separate from the debate at hand, but they inform it as ways in which men and women have had their generic, statistical differences enforced by social codes, theology and law. It would be helpful to get an historical perspective on this changing sense of gender roles in religious approaches to the role of women, and how this relates to conservative reaction to same-sex marriages.

My liberal Friends (Quaker) meeting has been marrying same-sex couples under its care since the mid-1980s. What seemed within the meeting like a radical step has become, as with opposite-sex couples, a simple acknowledgment of Divine Grace moving through us. We witness it not only in our marriage ceremonies, but in the everyday lives of married couples and families within our meeting. We recently decided to set aside our right to perform legal marriages until our state's marriage laws are reformed to allow for same-sex marriage; we still perform marriages, but if couples wish to register with the state, that is up to them. We will not act as participants in a process that discriminates amongst the couples married under our care.

The Quaker testimony of Equality has a lot to say on this subject, and several Quaker groups are struggling with the issue of equality for same-sex couples. Some of it is the age-old conflict in Quaker circles between the weight given to Scripture and that given to ongoing revelation. Some of it is the same "ooginess" some straight folk have with LGBT folk. Perhaps if would be useful to talk with members of such a community that have struggled recently over same-sex marriage.