The Church of Norway has approved a measure to allow same-sex couples to marry in its churches.

The church’s General Synod voted on the issue this week.

Fordekyrkje

Now all churches in Norway will be able to offer marriage to same-sex couples, and can immediately begin preparations to do so.

As with many religious organisations, the Church has allowed priests and other staff to refuse to participate, should they wish.

The announcement was made in a press release from Church of Norway bishops.

Åpen folkekirke, which has fought for same-sex marriage in churches, hailed the decision.

Sturla Stålsett, the organisation’s chair, said the move was “historical”.

The Prime Minster of Norway last year offered her support to allowing same-sex couples to marry in churches.

Norway legalised same-sex marriage in 2008.

The Church previously lashed out at a singer who filmed a steamy gay music video in one of its churches, labelling it a “gross abuse” of the building.

Earlier this year the government in Norway proposed extending to children the right of its citizens to change their legal gender.