Norway to allow same-sex church weddings
The Church of Norway is expected to approve a motion that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the country’s churches.
It is believed that the Bishops Conference, which meets today (Monday, April 11), is to adopt new marriage rituals that will provide gender-neutral ceremonies.
The draft resolution which is expected to be approved (after it was passed by 15 out of 23 committee members at the weekend), states: “A majority of the Bishops’ Conference believes that in addition to the current rituals for marriage and civil marriages between women and men, corresponding rituals must be devised that include couples of the same sex and that can be used for all couples.”
Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, reported that although the resolution was expected to pass, there was still some disagreement whether the new ritual should apply to all marriages or just same-sex ones.
Those opposing the introduction of same-sex marriage in the church have said that it needs to take more time and think of the consequences for children.
“I strongly recommend that out of concern for the church’s future that we take our time,” Øivind Benestad an opponent of gay marriage.
The church last discussed the issue of equal marriage in 2014, when a proposal to allow it was rejected. However, with the new governing body, there is now a majority in favour.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Norway since 2009 and the Church of Norway also allows for the ordination of gay clergy.
Sweden has allowed religious same-sex weddings since 2009, with Denmark following suit in 2012.