Law proposal from the Danish government on marriage equality in 2012
The Minister of Equality, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Nordic Cooperation, Manu Sareen, announced yesterday that the Danish government will propose a new law allowing same-sex couples to get married in the church on the same terms as different-sex couples.
Marriage in Denmark’s national Lutheran Church, Folkekirken, has been a major issue and it has been one of the reasons why Denmark ended up lagging behind after the introduction of the Registered Partnership in 1989. But the Minister of Equality, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Nordic Cooperation, Manu Sareen, from the newly elected centre-left government has now reached an agreement with the majority of the Bishops. At the moment there is a ban for registered partnership to take place in "religious institutions", this will be removed and any faith community can decide if it wants to marry same-sex couples or not. However it is it is up to the individual priest to decide if they want to marry same-sex couples or not.
The national Church has hitherto been opposed to complete ecclesiastical equality between different-sex couples and same-sex couples, but the Bishops have now said they are prepared to formulate a marriage rite making it possible for priests to marry same-sex couples. This paved the way for the government to announce the proposal, and it will be put forward to the Danish Parliament in 2012. There is already voiced a majority among the Members of the Danish Parliament in favour of the proposal.