Is there something rotten in the state of Denmark?

Is there something rotten in the state of Denmark? June 8, 2012

In my Catholic blog folder, I found a link to an Telegraph article that said LGBT activists have done what the sky-is-falling conservatives have always claimed: they’re won the “right” to force churches to conduct gay weddings.  Here’s the Telegraph‘s writeup:

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.

Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.

I’d strongly disapprove, just as I would if previously divorced people tried to use the State to get a Catholic wedding, but the whole thing seemed so implausible, I decided to do a little research before complaining.  Luckily I had a clue, the title of Manu Sareen quoted above.  Add in the fact that several news outlets were reporting on this as though it was just a run of the mill gay marriage law, and I had a good hypothesis.

It turns out Denmark has a state church.

According to Wikipedia, the highest legislative authority for the church is the Danish parliament, so they’re perfectly free to require the church perform gay weddings.  And that’s not even the weirdest result of a State church: in 2005 a contentious excommunication was undone by the Denmark Supreme Court.

So the takeaway is: this is just more bad religion writing in need of the GetReligion treatment and oh my goodness is fusing church and State a bad idea.  Please let people know if you see them picking up the Telegraph story.

Update: GetReligion did end up covering this.  Yay!

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