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Church of Sweden says yes to gay church weddings

Von: Stephen M Baines (usenet@localhost.kitschcamppalace.org.uk) [Profil]
Datum: 22.10.2009 14:23
Message-ID: <7qu5r6-12v.ln1@ascari.gasny.homeip.net>
Newsgroup: uk.gay-lesbian-bi
From The Local - http://www.thelocal.se/22810/20091022/

"The Synod of the Lutheran Church of Sweden has come down in favour of
church weddings for homosexuals in a vote held on Thursday morning.

The decision, which is based on a proposal from the church’s governing
board, means that the Church of Sweden will conduct wedding ceremonies
for both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

The proposal was approved by 176 of 249 voting members.

The decision comes just three days after the 30th anniversary of the
date when homosexuality stopped being classified as a disease in Sweden.

“The Synod’s decision takes a stance in favour of an inclusive view of
people. Regardless of whether one is religious or not, this affects the
entire social climate and the view of people’s equal value,” said Åsa
Regnér, head of the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU),
in a statement.

In June, the church board took the first step towards permitting
same-sex marriages by submitting a petition to the Church of Sweden
Synod – the church's highest decision-making body.

The board proposed the church continue to perform wedding ceremonies
following new legislation which came into force on May 1st and grants
same-sex couples in Sweden the same legal marriage status as heterosexuals.

Current church regulations will likely continue to apply in practice,
with some alterations, such as replacing “man and wife” with “lawfully
wedded spouses” when a homosexual couple is married.

Since 2007, the Church of Sweden, which counts around 74 percent of
Swedes as members, has offered gays a religious blessing of their union.

The ruling by the Synod, which has 251 delegates - two of which were
absent from Thursday's vote, puts Sweden among the first countries in
the world to allow gays to marry in a major church.

In moving ahead with the decision to perform same-sex marriages, the
Church of Sweden ignored concerns expressed earlier this year by the
Church of England in a strongly worded letter to Swedish archbishop
Anders Wejryd that the move could lead to “an impairment of the
relationships between the churches”.

Church of England spokesperson Steve Jenkins confirmed that relations
between the two churches may be headed for a turbulent phase in the wake
of the decision.

“Those concerns remain,” he told The Local, referring to the letter from
English bishops Christopher Hill and John Hind.

He added that he didn’t know of any plans by the English Church to issue
a formal statement in response to the Church of Sweden’s decision."

--
Stephen M Baines
http://www.kitschcamppalace.org.uk
http://www.alledal.nu


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