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Danish parliament approves equal marriage laws

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  1. Jesus moran 7 Jun 2012, 1:45pm

    Denmark why took you so long?

    1. you are right – but the sticking point was the church. Most other nations that have introduced gender-neutral marriage equality offer civil marriage only. Denmark now provides for same-gender religious marriage too. But having said that Denmark dragged its feet for far too long and Sweden and Norway have been way ahead.

      1. jamestoronto 7 Jun 2012, 3:16pm

        But still ahead of most of Europe, most of the United Sates, most of Africa, most of South America, all of Asia and all of Australasia.

      2. Way ahead? Sweden still makes sterilisation a condition of trans surgery.

        1. I think its fair to say they are way ahead on the issue of same sex couples marrying, although Sweden could improve in other areas.

    2. Denmark was the first country in the world to legalise civil partnerships in 1989 giving gay couples the same rights as anyone else. The “upgrade” to gender neutral marriage hasn’t been a high priority I guess? Also, Denmark has had centre-right governments for a long time and it took a social democrat government to change the law.

  2. Congratulations Denmark and the Lutheran Church!

    1. Note that the law doesn’t affect Danish Catholic clergy. Would’ve got VERY messy if they’d tried to go down that path.

      1. Ignore the troll.

      2. Yes if the Catholic Church rejected the move, many of its gay followers would probably have converted, leaving it in an even weaker position in a country where 80% of the population doesn’t follow it. Probably good for the Church that the government was kind enough not to make a move

      3. Who cares?

  3. Paddyswurds 7 Jun 2012, 1:59pm

    And the march to Equality continues apace……
    Congratulations to the People of Denmark.

  4. Well done Denmark. Congratulations.

    So thats 11 countries where equal marriage can take place (and various territories of 3 more!).

    40 odd more nations still debating it!

    Who’s next?

    England & Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Nepal, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Croatia, Australia …????

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 2:14pm

      I suspect France or Australia will beat us and won’t be surprised either.

      1. It won’t be Australia sadly. I wish it were. Not for a couple more years, though I hope to be proven wrong…

        PS. Yay, go Denmark!

        1. Although things are changing rapidly in Australia, I am lead to believe:

          62% of all Australians, 72% of Australians with children, and 74% of Labor voters believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. 75% believe the reform is inevitable.

          54% of Australian same-sex couples would marry if they had the choice. 80% support that choice. 55% of same-sex de facto couples and 78% of same-sex civil partners would prefer to marry if they had the choice.

          The opinion polls appear to show increasing rates of support in Australia.

          The barriers appear to be non-religious homophobes like Gillard and religious homophobes like the RC church and the ACL.

        2. Paddyswurds 7 Jun 2012, 4:10pm

          @MD22….
          ……Not till they dump that ugly tongue tied bint from Wales, Julia Galliard .. … ….

    2. Unfortunately not Finland…that’s for sure. We’re still very backwards country with gay rights.

  5. Excellent, let’s hope Cameron draws some inspiration from this.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 2:17pm

      Holding my breath on that one along with the undecided in Parliament. Let’s see which of the newspapers make any mention of it. I suspect the Torygraph and Daily HateMail will ignore it. I suspect the BBC will do the same.

      1. Whether homophobic media outlets report the issues in Denmark (which are to be warmly welcomed by all right minded people) or not, is no indication of the outcome in England & Wales or Scotland regarding equal marriage.

        In terms of England & Wales the arithmetic is already there for a Commons victory.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 4:10pm

          Let’s hope it’s a massive victory, not just narrowly scraping by but to send a clear message to the bigots that they’re the pitiful losers and will be relegated to the dustbin of history..

        2. Paddyswurds 7 Jun 2012, 4:13pm

          However the Lords will be a different story unless CallmeDave is willing to use that Parliamentary thingy to over rule them……

          1. They said the same about other gay related issues and the Lords where the Parliament Act did not need to be invoked and the vote was to support fairness and equality. I agree this one might be awkward – but if so, I hope DC will use the Parliament Act.

      2. The BBC weren’t exactly first with the news, but they did report it.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18363157

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 2:13pm

    Fantastic, Denmark. Notice that clergy aren’t allowed to have seats in parliament whereas in the UK they’re allowed to sit in the upper chamber. I wish we had the same system.

    1. Er, what?

      1. I think Robert is commenting on the undemocratic issue of clergy having automatic seats in the House of Lords in the UK being disgraceful. Clearly, Denmark do not have the issue of unelected religious leaders having decision making powers over their civil law.

        1. I thought as much. But as Kim adds below, clergy is allowed, but only after being elected. There are both sensible members of the church and… not so sensible members in Folketinget.

          And apart from that, it’s beyond me why a question to what Robert meant is to be voted down…

          1. Well, I didnt vote you down.

            I think the fact that the clergy are elected in Denmark is a good thing. What I do not like is unelected Spiritual Lords that we have in the UK

      2. Improved separation of church and state, SL.

        1. Luckily it doesn’t work that way here, as Kim states. Although Christiany to some degree is supported by the state, the members of clergy only has anything to say if they are voted into Folketinget. Democratic and all that.

    2. Well actually clergy are allowed to have seats in parliament in Denmark and there are several Lutheran pastors in the current parliament, two of which were the most vociferous opponents to the bill (they represent the so-called Danish People’s Party). However, luckily 2/3 of the clergy in Denmark think are of a different opinion and will embrace the new law.

      1. But do they have seats purely because they’re pastors (like the bishops in the Lords)?

        1. No, they are voted in as any other members of paliarment.

  7. Cardinal Capone 7 Jun 2012, 2:29pm

    Time to move to Denmark.

  8. ” …an opposition amendment creating a separate system of marriage for gay couples under different terminology was rejected”

    Quite right too!
    Congratulations Denmark!

    “It’s liberalism, it’s diversity, it’s equality, it’s tolerance and it’s so beautiful.”

    Hear, hear!

    1. Absolutely!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 2:52pm

      Indeed, something the UK could learn a lesson from in its own equal marriage debate. We always do things haphazzardly in the UK, never do anything the right way, everything is in dribs and drabs, unless we’re dragged kicking and screaming as we were with allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military and then CPs. None of the 11 countries were forced by any EU directive to implement the varying forms of legal unions before equal marriage became a reality, unlike us. We like to pride ourselves in being the ‘beacon’ for gay equality. Since when? We are by no means the leader until we have equal marriage including religious marriages for those who want them and CPs for straight couples.

      1. Agreed, but although it’s certainly slow, it’s sure !

        Also, we’re top of the ILGA league…

        http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/05/13/uk-is-the-best-place-in-europe-to-be-gay/

  9. Celebrations all round then! May the rest of Europe follow!

  10. Such wonderful news!

  11. Excellent news from Denmark. Now let’s sit back and watch the world NOT fall apart as many claim would happen!

  12. 23 years after it approved civil unions? Why did it take so long?

    1. Paddyswurds 7 Jun 2012, 4:15pm

      @Beberts…
      ….religion that’s why….

      1. i guess you’re righ… and adding to that bucketloads of procrastination…

        1. Genuine question – are the Danes known for procrastination? Its not a trait I would associate with them.

          1. 23 years is a long time. It seems in this case procrastination has worked its way. Probably also due to what Kim has mentioned below.

    2. Some of the reason was that Denmark for more than a decade had a centre-right coalition government that depended on the votes of the right-wing so-called Danish People’s Party who is so adamantly against same gender marriage (although supports civil union) that it just wasn’t on the government agenda. Interestingly the bishop of Copenhagen once called the former prime minister a “chicken” for not promoting the issue of same-gender marriage. Now Denmark joins the rest of Scandinavia in offering religious same-gender marriage along with civil same-gender marriage. And few other nations do.

  13. jamestoronto 7 Jun 2012, 3:18pm

    Well done Denmark. Welcome to the growing circle.

  14. de Villiers 7 Jun 2012, 4:10pm

    The more countries in Europe adopt this measure, the more it normalises itself for the rest of the UE.

    1. Paddyswurds 7 Jun 2012, 4:17pm

      Where pray is UE?

    2. de Villiers 8 Jun 2012, 7:51am

      EU

  15. Just checked the news and weather.

    No earthquakes, floods, spontaneous combustions, acts of terrorism, rains of frogs, sudden outbreak of rare illnesses, or mass disaster of any other sort today.

    Ah – the prophecy that the world would end (as has been said of every advancement of LGBT rights in every country where they have happened) prove to be salacious deceptive ignorant rhetoric, once again – quelle surprise!

    1. i accidently spilt a bucket of water and drowned some of my flowers.. does that count? lol

      1. ROFL – no it doesnt count – although if you look hard enough I am sure some dodgy “Christian” might try to find a link!

    2. Paddyswurds 7 Jun 2012, 4:58pm

      The World wont end until the Sun burns out and becomes a red giant when the Earth will be swallowed up by it and burned to a cinder……..roughly 4.5 billion years from now no matter how many rights are given to Queers or how loudly the “god” squad shout and whinge……….

      1. GingerlyColors 7 Jun 2012, 5:25pm

        No doubt some Westboro Baptist will blame us for the Sun becoming a red giant! As an agnostic I do like to keep an open mind about certain aspects of religion as I just cannot see how the Universe suddenly appeared out of absolutely nothing through the Big Bang.
        Interestingly they say that ‘when’ Jesus Christ makes his second coming he will descend to Earth borne by two angles at the Abassad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, and with it all kicking off around there at the moment and the End of the World being predicted for 21 December 2012, I trust that at least one TV crew has their cameras trained on the said mosque to see if it actually happens!
        Having said that God or no God I am what I am and I am not going to change my ways just to conform with the bigots.

        1. ifs that two angles or two angels? Only the first suggests he’s going to do a bit of geometry.

          Not nitpicking on typos, just having a bit of fun. I really did envisage Jesus with a set square and compasses.

  16. Great news! Well done, Denmark! And, as others have said, I’m very glad they rejected the ‘separate but equal’ idea.

    I wish the UK could get on with things. I still don’t understand why it needs to take until 2015 to have equal marriage here.

    1. Paddyswurds 7 Jun 2012, 5:01pm

      No one said it would be 2015 did they?. I understood it would be tabled after the Consultation (insult) charade was finished which I understand will be around the 16th of June……

      1. If proposals are not in Parliament (or visibly on the way to Parliament) by the end of 2012/very start of 2013 then there will be serious questions of integrity for the coalition to answer.

      2. I think I’d read “by 2015″, Paddyswurds. Maybe I’m just a pessimist, eh? :D I agree with your summing up of the consultation though.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 5:01pm

      We’re always slow to catch on, Iris, never a leader or innovator when it comes to basic civil rights. Even if our economy weren’t affected by the global financial crisis, it still would NOT be a priority for government. They’d find some lame excuse to justify the toot-dragging. Too much bloody bureacracy in our country I’m afraid.

      1. Not just bureaucracy – complacency and a lack of empathy too, I think, Robert. I’m getting sick of people telling me what I want or telling me I should be satisfied with CPs or that ‘hardly anyone wants equal marriage’. Just get on with it! I don’t see how it’ll affect anyone adversely to have gender neutral civil marriage.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 6:01pm

          I so agree, Iris, exactly right about that. I’m hoping France gets to it next putting pressure on our Parliament to do the same. It would be great if Australia did it too. I wonder how many of our MPs are aware of what happened in Denmark today? I’ve not seen anything in the media yet.

  17. GingerlyColors 7 Jun 2012, 5:17pm

    I have just looked up the Folketing (Danish Parliament) on Wikipedia. It has 179 representitives, 175 for Denmark proper plus 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands. With 109 people voting on the issue of marriage equality, what about the other 70? Were they absent or did they abstain? Another question is will the new legislation also apply to Greenland and the Faroe Islands? If so then all the better. As for the 24 who said no I hope that some of them will come round to the idea of marriage equality soon. Please don’t condem Denmark for taking so long to introduce marriage equality – they were the first country in the world to come up with the idea of officially recognising gay relationships through Civil Partnerships and in eight days time they will join the growing club of countries that recognise full equality and I hope that it will spur Britain and other countries into action. Furthermore, Denmark has had the sense to keep the Krona.

    1. I might be wrong but I think the relationship between Greenland and the Faroe Islands is a bit like the relationship between Northern Ireland and Scotland and the Westminster Parliament. They send MPs and the parliament votes on matters relevant to Greenland and Faroe Islands such as defense but there is independence/”devolved” power on issues of law and order etc (which the law on marriage would be part of).

      Greenland followed Denmark closely on the issue of civil partnerships – so I would expect them to do the same on equal marriage.

      The Faroe Islands do not have CPs or any form of recognition for same sex couples.

    2. The parties at the Danish parliament use an internal “clearing system”, so all the members of parliament don’t have to be present all the time. For example if only 70 % of the opposition is present for a vote, then only 70 % of the government parties will vote. This way they can keep the balance between the parties without all the members of parliament having to be present all the time. That’s why about 70 members did not take part in the vote. They were simply not present. No, the legislation will no apply to Greenland and the Faroe Islands due to their “home rule”. The Faroe Islands don’t even recognize the civil union.

    3. Henrik K is right – MPs cancel each other out before a vote if they have other obligations that day. So an MP intending to vote yes would make an agreement with an MP intending to vote no that they will both do not have to show up that day. Simple system:) And true MP from the North Atlantic often opt out on voting for social issues in other parts of the kingdom. However, note that Greenland has already enacted same-sex marriage equality under their own home rule. The Faroe Island on the other hand are a basket case and don’t even have civil union. The Danish Kingdom is a bit like the Commonwealth in a way, individual nations under the same crown but often with very different laws.

  18. Amen to that!!!

  19. Love. Denmark.

    Thank you.

    or

    Kærlighed Danmark. Tak

  20. What are they doing with the old CPs they had and will they upgrade my British CP to a marriage if I move there???

    1. I suspect a non Danish CP would not be upgraded to marriage

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 10:15pm

        Correct, none of the other 10 countries have upgraded their alternate unions to marriage. It will be the same in Denmark and I believe the same in the UK once equal marriage passes.

    2. They will be upgraded to marriage since the law also abolishes the former “registered partnership” civil union. The law provides for two different kinds of marriage – civil or religious – for all citizens, including same-sex couples.

      1. Excellent news.

        Denmark leading and learning from experience elsewhere.

        Well done, Denmark!

  21. Shocked!

    The Telegraph have reported the events in Denmark without rampant homophobia (although I notice the comments board is not operating!)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/9317447/Gay-Danish-couples-win-right-to-marry-in-church.html

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Jun 2012, 10:14pm

      Surprising, Stu. Maybe the Mail realises the writing is on the wall in spite of their resistance to it.

      1. I’ve noticed that while the Telegraph has come out against gay marriage proposals in England, the tone of a lot of its reporting on gay issues is ‘softer’ than in the past. Nothing like the hatred spewed in the Daily Mail.

    2. Cardinal Capone 10 Jun 2012, 12:18pm

      The Telegraph have misleadingly reported this as all churches will be forced to carry out gay weddings. No one is being forced, plus the provisions only apply to the National church, in which an overwhelming majority of the priests are supportive, and those that don’t can opt out. Churches like the Catholics are not even affected.

      I really think it’s time to take the Telegraph to Leveson for what must be deliberate misreporting to whip up homophobia.

  22. Thank God somebody got it right.

  23. I just wish the Reformation and Lutheranism had spread to more of Europe. The Nordic countries have been at the forefront of social equality. These countries have the highest standards of civility, have some of the safest cities in the world, pragmatic, resourceful people, fair-minded, peace-loving, etc…. basically the closest thing to a utopian nation in the 21st century!

    1. As an aside, it’s worth acknowledging that however advanced these nations are now, in reality at the time the Code Napoleon legalised homosexuality in Mediterranean Europe the attitudes in the Protestant North were far from being as advanced. The dazzling advances in human rights in Northern Europe have tended to mirror the material prosperity of the industrialisation process.

  24. Finally. Same-sex marriage is legal in the first western country to legalize homosexuality in centuries.

  25. Finally it happened! I witnessed it at the Danish parliament today.

    Yes, Denmark (especially the politicians) has been “resting on the laurels” since the parliament pass the law about civil partnerships in 1989. This step to introduce a gender neutral marriage for both straights and gays has been discussed and debated for about 15 years. The first governmental report about the matter was made in 1997 and several more later on. – And still some politicians in the opposition claims that the legislation is being rushed through without a proper debate :-)

  26. Well done Denmark!

  27. Denmark makes me proud. It comes into force so quickly too. I wonder if this’ll apply to Greenland and Faroe Islands?

    David Cameron, however, doesn’t appear to be in favour of allowing churches to marry same-sex couples, as in Denmark. Churches in England (I don’t think it’ll apply to Scotland/N. Ireland as marriage law is apparently devolved) will probably have to perform civil partnerships instead. Its a rather strange and convoluted solution that he seems to think will allow him to fulfil his promise to make marriage equal, in order to show that the Conservative Party has modernised and to appeal to lgbt voters, while at the same time trying not to annoy the more misguided religious folk so they still (Its the only explanation I have, but do they now?) vote for him too. Still, we live in hope, perhaps if the consultation recommends (inspired by Denmark even) that churches be allowed to perform same-sex marriages he’ll be forced to change course. I have my doubts but you never know.

    1. You’re correct that the UK governments marriage equality plans won’t apply in Scotland. The Scottish government held their own consultation which did include questions on religious marriage. While the Scot govt say they “tend towards” equal marriage, they haven’t yet made a decision whether to proceed with legislation or not, although their announcement is due sometime this month ( June 2012).

    2. Same-gender marriage has already been introduced in Greenland – before it was introduced in Denmark. This happened some time last year as far as I know. But you can forget the Faroe Islands – they are a basket case when it comes to LGBT rights.

      1. I was under the impression that there were only registered partnerships (Inooqatigiittut nalunaarsorsimasut) and not marriage of same sex couples in Greenland.

  28. And can anyone tell me why a gay couple need a marriage ceremony in the church? Is it not enough to have a civil marriage? What difference does it make?

    1. For me a civil marriage would be perfectly satisfactory, and I look forward to having one when it becomes legal in England.

      However, some gay couples are religious and i can understand it would make a difference to them to be able to marry amongst their friends and family in their church/synagogue/chapel etc.

    2. Bisexual woman in Edinburgh 8 Jul 2012, 10:46pm

      It’s called equal rights, dear. There are plenty of same-sex couples who practice a religion and want a religious wedding. Just because you don’t find it appealing doesn’t mean that other people should be prevented from having it. I dislike marriage and am an atheist, and I still campaign for marriage equality, including religious marriage.

  29. Shame the Lutheran church isn’t stronger in England – instead of us having to make do with a weak Anglican church and a barmy Roman Catholic one.

    1. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 12:18pm

      Shame religion hasn’t yet been relegated to the dustbin of history, however the day is fast approaching. First though there will be some charges for them to answer and pay for….

    2. Cardinal Capone 9 Jun 2012, 2:02pm

      I believe Denmark may be one of the countries where a compulsory tax is deducted from your earnings to support the state church, if you profess to be a member, as most people do automatically.

      1. Cardinal Capone 10 Jun 2012, 12:25pm

        I googled and discovered it is paid for by the government out of everyone’s taxes.

  30. Hooray – let’s exacerbate it then David! Why not join us – if you haven’t already.

  31. Have you stopped beating your wife David?

    1. Paddyswurds 8 Jun 2012, 12:15pm

      DO NOT FEED THE TROLL….

  32. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 8 Jun 2012, 6:18pm

    The vote was interesting. Why did it take 23 years from going from registered partnerships to civil marriage equality – when in Holland (the Netherlands) it just toke 3 years! In 1998 registered partnerships made legal in Holland and then in 2001 Holland became the first country in the world to legally have same sex marriage!!!!!

    Civil Unions were invented in Vermont, not Denmark – they were called “registered partnerships” introduced in Denmark (the first in the world) in 1989!

    1. The reasons for the procrastination in the whole LGBT development in Denmark is mainly down to a decade of centre-right government that lent heavily on the votes of the far-right populist party, the Danish People’s Party, which is adamantly against same-sex marriage. But another reason was that since Denmark has a state church then adopting same-sex marriage would somehow hinge on a level of acceptance also within the church before marriage equality could move ahead. It all took too long. But the good news is that Denmark now joins Iceland and Sweden as nations where all citizens, gay or straight, have the right to a civil marriage but also a religious one.

  33. Cardinal Capone 9 Jun 2012, 1:58pm

    Our erstwhile troll(s), Dodo the Dud and Inspecor General are back on the Archbish Cranmer Blog, dishing out homophobia and complaints about this site, its posters, and their trolling posts being deleted. Ah, diddums.

    1. I saw this too. Dead Dodo was trying to have someone post a message for them on here. Quite sad really. And they seem to think I’m on there under a different name. Good to see their paranoia still in full effect :P

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