Same sex marriage is moving ahead in Denmark and could become a reality as early as next summer if a bill establishing marriage equality passes parliament.
The Copenhagen Post Online reports:
“It’s historic, it’s the biggest thing since female ministers were allowed in the Folkekirken,” Manu Sareen (Radikale), the church and equality minister, told the media today.
After years of opposition to granting homosexual unions the same status as heterosexual unions, Folkekirken bishops are developing a new wedding rite that will enable vicars to wed homosexuals.
“I think that most people in the Folkekirken are happy that there is finally a political decision on which way to proceed,” the bishop of Copenhagen, Peter Skov-Jakobsen, told Politiken.
“But I also think there are some people who will be disappointed that the distinction between marriage and partnership will disappear….”
…The new angle taken requires a change to marriage law followed by a new wedding rite that can accommodate homosexuals by addressing them as ‘spouses’ (ægtefælle) as opposed to the traditional and gender-specific ‘husband and wife’ (ægtepar).
The term that married homosexuals can call themselves has been a topic of controversy, with prominent homosexuals arguing that only a gender-neutral marriage would afford homosexual unions the same rights as heterosexuals unions.
“We are lacking the same rights as homosexuals in a range of areas and I’m convinced that if such a proposal was brought up in parliament it would be supported by a majority,” author Bjarne Henrik Lundis told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Gender-neutral marriages have already been introduced in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Spain and Portugal.