Ellen Andersen

And in another sign of the coming apocolypse...

Filed By Ellen Andersen | April 05, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: marriage politics, Sweden

Sweden's Parliament voted overwhelmingly (261-22) this week to eliminate the legislative distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Starting May 1st, same-sex couples will be permitted to marry legally, rather than enter into a registered partnership. The law does allow clergy to opt out of marrying same-sex couples if they so choose.

Since the Swedish Lutheran Church (the biggest denomination in the country) is supportive of domestic partnerships but not marriage, it seems to me that most churches will still effectively be closed to same-sex couples. But still. We can add one more entry to the growing list of nations that have embraced marriage equality.


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It never ceases to amaze me in the saddest way how in one country homosexuality can accept homosexuality and in another nearby can arrest you or even execute for the same thing. It's 2009 and high time that discrimination against homosexuality be eradicated worldwide.

Thanks for your post.

I do long belong to any religious entity and haven't spent any time studying them, but it is my impression that there aren't many (or any) major religions that embrace the dissolution of marriage, let alone subsequent (and possibly numerous) marriages.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I would imagine that Unitarians don't pay much attention nor would Henry VIII's church and possibly MCC (lol).

Here is my question: With broadening access to dissolution granted by the State with no restrictions on re-marriage (one at a time, please), why is there so much focus on churches needing protection from same-sex couples?

Has there been similar legislative, judicial or executive action taken over the past century to protect churches from state permitted divorce? Are churches afraid of being forced to recognize re-married different sex couples?

Why does the Church get such consolation from the state when it comes to us when clearly different sex couples are just as - if not more - uninterested in upholding the traditional concept of one marriage - no man torn asunder - until death do they part?

Sorry - I don't know what happened at the start of my comment, but the opening line should read:

"I do NOT belong to any religious entity..."

The importance of this is that it is the first marriage initiative to have the full backing of the church, and with overwhelming parliamentary support. The legislation explicitly applies to church as well as civil ceremonies, and the Swedish Lutheran Church, the countries largest, has said that it 'supports' the law. A final decision on solemnising these weddings will be taken later this year, but for now, the church comment is that pastors will not be 'forced' to conduct them against their will.

Pay close attention: some pastors will not conduct same sex marriages, but this will be by exception. The default position is that others will do so. Same sex church weddings are to become routine.

Already in Iowa, the courts have ruled against considering the religious arguments because religious opinions on the matter differ. This will further undercut the religious argument against marriage.

This Swedish decision will have ripple effects favouring marriage equality right around the world.

Fortunately God already hates Sweden. So He won't have to change his opinion any time soon.