Victory For Gay Couples
Sweden’s Lutheran Church has today(Thursday) approved special church ceremonies to bless same-sex partnership but not traditional weddings.
The issue has been debated since the secularized Scandinavian country recognized civil unions for homosexual couples in 1994.
The Church Assembly, the decision making body for the church of Sweden, today voted for the blessing ceremony, winning approval by 160 votes to 81. Also, from next Spring, civil registrars cannot refuse to conduct partnership ceremonies for homosexual couples.
At present, registrars may refuse gay partnership ceremonies and one fifth of Stockholm district’s 256 registrars are not registered to perform them. The Ministry of Justice said that anyone who refused will lose their authorisation to perform wedding ceremonies.
Later this year a government-appointed committee is expected to file a report on whether the law allowing civil unions between homosexuals should be changed to include marriage as well.