Friday, June 8, 2012

Wedding Bells Ringing in Denmark, for Everyone!

Anxiously waiting as the final vote was tallied in parliament
Great news from Copenhagen as yesterday the Folketing, the Danish Parliament, voted overwhelmingly to amend that nation's marriage law, making it gender neutral.  The previous day (Wednesday), parliament rejected a bill that would have created a separate system of marriage for gay couples under different terminology.

With the passage of the new, gender-neutral law, same-sex couples will now be able to marry in churches of their choice, the same as opposite-sex couples.  Priests will not be forced to perform the weddings if they happen to disagree on personal grounds, however, a majority of pastors in the country do support marriage equality.  This includes a majority of priests in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to which 80% of Danes belong.

Denmark now joins its neighbors Sweden, Iceland, and my country, Norway, making the four Scandinavian countries a solid marriage equality neighborhood.  I couldn't be prouder!

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt fulfilled last year's campaign promise
Denmark's current system of registered partnerships has been in place since 1989, when Denmark became the first modern country to enact such a law.  Registered partnerships conferred all the same rights of marriage, only without calling it marriage.  With yesterday's legislation, however, the separate-but-equal status is gone and all couples and marriages will be viewed and treated as 100% equal before the law, and just in time for June weddings.

By the way, I checked the news and weather in Copenhagen and things look fine.  No floods, no earthquakes, no tsunamis, fireballs, or rains of frogs.  Just partly cloudy and 18°C.  Sorry CBCP, I'm sure that probably confounds and upsets you.

Congratulations to all the happy couples in Denmark!


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