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.
most Quaker couples record their marriages with legal authorities. <See
Appendix 6d for the requirements in different parts of Pacific
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