Church Weddings In The Cards For Danish Gays
It’s been heralded as a massive step forward in the fight for full equality for the Danish gay population. Today in Denmark's Gender Equality and Ecclesiastical Affairs Ministry announced that Danish homosexuals will shortly be allowed to marry in the state Evangelical Lutheran Church.
"The Danish government has decided that same-sex couples are to be able to marry in church on equal terms with heterosexual couples, and that they will be able to call themselves spouses," the ministry said in a press statement.
"All members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark must have the opportunity to be married in church regardless of their sexual orientation," said the ministry statement.
Denmark has always been at the forefront of marriage equality, it was the first country in the world to allow same sex couples to enter into legal civil unions or "registered partnerships" back in October, 1989. These registered partnerships gave lesbian and gay people virtually exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples, although it didn’t offer the right to a religious wedding ceremony.
Churches have offered same-sex couples a religious blessing of their union since 1997, but this stopped woefully short of being a full ‘wedding’ With this latest news, however, that’s all about to change, as the government announced it’s proposal to change the marriage laws in February, with many expecting the first in church gay wedding to take place in June.