Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Church of Sweden, Sweden's Biggest Church Supports Gay Marriage Bill

This denomination, the Church of Sweden, is a sister church to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America a/k/a the ELCA (my current denomination). Hopefully, this will put further pressure on the ELCA to make a major position change at the next general meeting of the denomination. The Church of Norway, another ELCA sister church is already moving along the lines of the Church of Sweden. Here are highlights from (

(Stockholm) The Church of Sweden said Wednesday that it approves of legislation that would make laws governing marriage gender neutral. The denomination describes itself as Evangelical Lutheran and its membership includes about 75 percent of Sweden's population. In making its statement of support for the bill now before Parliament the Church, however, said it would continue to use the word "marriage" to refer to opposite sex unions.

The statement said that marriage and partnership are "forms of partnership of equal value". The support of the Church is considered the last major hurdle the legislation faced before going before Parliament. Six of Sweden's seven political parties support the legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry, leaving only the small Christian Democratic Party opposing the measure.
If passed it would create gender-neutral marriage, allow churches to perform ceremonies, provide same-sex couples with the right to adopt children and allow lesbians to have artificial insemination. Sweden already has civil partnerships under a law enacted in 1995 that gives most of the rights and obligations of marriage to same-sex couples who register. But it does not provide for adoption of IVF.

A parliamentary committee studying the issue last year called civil partnerships outdated and recommended Parliament allow same-sex marriage.

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