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Bishops come up with wedding ritual for gays

Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs Manu Sareen has welcomed bishops’ new marriage liturgy for homosexuals

Danish bishops have bowed to pressure and put forward a new marriage liturgy for homosexuals in response to new gay rights legislation passed by the Danish parliament, reports and

The ritual allows same gender couples the right to get married in church. Mr Sareen called the specially designed ritual for same-gender couples ‘touching’.

»It’s been a difficult issue but the bishops have come up with the correct solution and it’s something we can all be proud of,« he said.

Bishops feared consequences

»City Hall marriages have only acknowledged ‘registered partnerships’ but this new ceremony reflects something else – love between two people.«

Before the gay legislation was passed, four out of ten bishops refused to accept marriage between homosexuals, but have now accepted the use of ‘married couple’, although not husband and wife.

»The law’s been passed so there’s not much we can do about it,« said Bishop of Aarhus Kjeld Holm. »We could have refused to abide by it, but the consequences are impossible to work out. The Minister could have come up with his own wedding ceremony for gays, which he has the authority to«.

Minister: Church is ‘inclusive’

Mr Sareen said the willingness of bishops who were originally opposed to the legislation to draft a new wedding ritual for gays reflects the ‘inclusiveness’ of the Danish National Church.

The Danish National Church had previously rejected giving full equality to homosexuals. A parliamentary decision last week in favour of gay marriage was called by Minister for Gender Equality Manu Sareen »the biggest thing that’s happened to the church since female priests«.

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