From Politiken.dk: Homosexuals get church weddings
The Danish Folketing has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a full ecclesiastical marriage service in the national Evangelical-Lutheran church for homosexual couples, to be instituted as a full, official marriage equal to that of heterosexual couples.
After a lengthy and sometimes heated debate, which ran some three hours over its expected time, 85 members voted in favour of the law, 24 against and with two abstentions.
Homosexuals in Denmark have not hitherto been able to enter into marriage, but only into registered partnerships. The new law means that homosexual couples can choose whether to be married in church or at a town hall.
Both the Liberal and Conservative parties removed their party whips for Thursday’s vote due to internal differences, leaving the decision to their individual members’ convictions.
Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs Manu Sareen (SocLib), who has used much of his ministerial tenure to develop and defend the proposal, says the parliamentary decision is historic.
“This is along the lines of when we got women priests. I am really happy. It is something all three government parties have wanted for many years,” Sareen says…
and in the Telegraph: Gay Danish couples win right to marry in church
The country’s parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
Denmark’s church minister, Manu Sareen, called the vote “historic”.
“I think it’s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married. Today, it’s only heterosexual couples.”
Under the law, individual priests can refuse to carry out the ceremony, but the local bishop must arrange a replacement for their church.
The far-Right Danish People’s Party mounted a strong campaign against the new law, which nonetheless passed with the support of 85 of the country’s 111 MPs…