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Norway’s Lutheran Church votes for same-sex marriage

Norway’s Lutheran Church votes for same-sex marriage

Seventy-four percent of Norwegians are Lutheran, and its Lutheran Church voted earlier this week (88 affirmative votes out of 115) to allow same-sex marriage, though individual priests who disagree can still object, according to a Reuters report.

The vote by Norway’s Lutheran Church reflects increasingly liberal attitudes in wider Norwegian society to issues such as homosexuality.

Norway became the second country in the world after Denmark to allow same-sex registered partnerships in 1993. The Nordic country of 5.2 million people has allowed civil same-sex marriage since 2009.

From the Manila Times:

“It’s a signal to Norwegian society that homosexuals should not be treated differently, and also a signal to the rest of the world, especially other churches: love between two same-sex people must also be recognised in a religious arena,” Gard Realf Sandaker-Nielsen, the head of the liberal Open Church movement, told Agence France-Presse, himself a homosexual.

Opponents, in the minority, had argued that the Bible defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In practice, gay weddings in the Lutheran Church will be possible after the adoption of a new marriage rite due to be adopted at another synod in Jan. 2017.

“I’m not different,” Kai Steffen Ostensen, a delegate, told the synod. “I’m a person. I’m just a person who loves another person,” he said.

 

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Fred Garvin

Seventy-five percent may be members on paper; barely 3-5% of the population bothers with church any given Sunday, and most of them are over 50. For most Norwegians, it's just the building they're buried from.

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JC Fisher

I sincerely hope that this vote is not too late to convince Norwegians under 50 that the Church is a place that can be consistent w/ God-given human rights.*

* Whether they currently believe in the "God-given" part or not.

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David Allen

Yes to both, Norway in '94 & England in '95.

+Welby needs to inform them that they are getting out ahead of the rest of the Communion! 😀

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Rod Gillis

Is not the Church of Norway part of the Porvoo Communion group? Is not the Church of England a member as well?

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