According to a Chruch of Denmark minister, the Danish government will introduce gay marriage legislation in the new year, with same-sex couples to be allowed to marry on Church of Denmark premises in 2012.
Denmark was the first country in the world to allow gay civil partnerships when it introduced the legislation in 1989, and public polls show that about 70% of the population supports same-sex marriage.
The Church of Denmark aka The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, (Den Danske Folkekirke or Folkekirken, literally meaning the “People’s Church”) is the state church and largest denomination in Denmark and Greenland. The church is Evangelical Lutheran and since the establishment of the Danish Constitution of 1849 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark (ELCD) has been regarded as “the church of the people” as well as an official national church. The church is financially supported by the state, but membership is voluntary.
But even though 70 percent of the population supports same sex marriage some senior religious figures oppose the plans. Henrik Højlund chairman of the Evangelical Lutheran Network said gay marriage would be “fatal for the church”
The coalition government’s church minister, Manu Sareen states,. “I have many friends who are homosexuals and can’t get married. They love their partners the same way heterosexuals do, but they don’t have the right to live it out in the same way. The first same-sex weddings will hopefully become reality in Spring 2012, and I look forward to the moment the first homosexual couple steps out of the church. I’ll be standing out there throwing rice.”