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Church of Denmark to Allow Formal Weddings for Gay Couples

Denmark's government has announced that in February it will initiate efforts to allow gay and lesbian couples to have the same formal church ceremonies for their weddings that straight couples get, the AP reports:

DenmarkIn 1989, Denmark became the first country to allow registered gay partnerships. Since 1997, gay couples in Denmark can be wed in special blessing ceremonies at the end of the regular church service.

Denmark’s Church Affairs Ministry says the law change would put Denmark on par with countries including Iceland and Sweden that allow full wedding ceremonies for gay couples.

Said the new church minister of the Church of Denmark, Manu Sareen: “The first same-sex weddings will hopefully become reality in Spring 2012. I look forward to the moment the first homosexual couple steps out of the church. I’ll be standing out there throwing rice."

The Copenhagen Post adds: "Less than five percent of Danes today attend church services on a weekly basis, yet 80 percent are – like Sareen – registered members who pay taxes to support it, but who only rarely attend services. This year alone, the Church of Denmark will receive an estimated 5.9 billion kroner in taxes from its registered members, plus additional tax-supported state subsidies amounting to 130 kroner for every single citizen, regardless of religious affiliation, sexual preference, or other beliefs."

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  1. That's nice... but the very idea of tax money going to support a church makes my skin crawl.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Nov 23, 2011 8:21:40 AM

  2. the question remains: will the government make a difference, in name or otherwise, between same- and different-sex couples?

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Nov 23, 2011 3:58:25 PM

  3. Is this just an empty ceremony or are these real, legally recognized, equal marriages?

    Posted by: Bill S. | Nov 24, 2011 3:22:04 AM

  4. As a homosexual living in a registered partnership in Denmark, I'll believe it when I see it.

    Fine, the church wants to allow us to get married inside the building. While I'm sure that many same-sex couples will appreciate this, there are still small differences in the law that for me, will make this an empty victory.

    We can still not adopt, except for in VERY special situations. Two foreigners on tourist or temporary visas are still not allowed to marry in Denmark, even though hetero foreigners have this right. Oh yeah, and if I get legally married in Sweden or another country that allows this, it's still not recognised in Denmark.

    So yay, we get to wear a white dress in the church. Whoopie. Will they CALL it marriage? Doubtful, since that would force them to look at other laws that, while better than in some other countries, still leave us unequal.

    So where's the victory?

    Posted by: spyke | Nov 24, 2011 5:40:13 AM

  5. p.s. According to this: ( we can supposedly adopt. I just looked up the law (Bekendtgørelse af lov om adoption) and... it hasn't been changed. It still speaks of "married couples" and only speaks of registered partners when referring to the adoption of one's partner's child - and there are a LOT of conditions to be met if that's going to happen...

    Posted by: spyke | Nov 24, 2011 5:47:40 AM

  6. I think it should only be said that this is good news. Finally!

    Posted by: Maria | Nov 25, 2011 4:47:39 PM

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