Denmark passed a law requiring all churches to perform same-sex weddings. Not just the state Lutheran church, all churches. The news story on the subject has another interesting detail: The government “church minister” who supervises the state church and who pushed the law against Christian opposition is an agnostic. Can you see this happening here, with anti-discrimination laws being applied to churches?
The country’s parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
Denmark’s church minister, Manu Sareen, called the vote “historic”.
“I think it’s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married. Today, it’s only heterosexual couples.”
Under the law, individual priests can refuse to carry out the ceremony, but the local bishop must arrange a replacement for their church.
The far-Right Danish People’s Party mounted a strong campaign against the new law, which nonetheless passed with the support of 85 of the country’s 111 MPs.
“Marriage is as old as man himself, and you can’t change something as fundamental,” the party’s church spokesperson Christian Langballe said during the debate. “Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman.”
Karsten Nissen, the Bishop of Viborg, who is refusing to carry out the ceremonies, has warned that the new law risks “splitting the church”.
“The debate has been really tough,” said Mr Sareen, an agnostic who has pushed hard for the legislation since taking his post last autumn.