The country's parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
Denmark's church minister, Manu Sareen, called the vote "historic".
"I think it's very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married. Today, it's only heterosexual couples."
Under the law, individual priests can refuse to carry out the ceremony, but the local bishop must arrange a replacement for their church.
The far-Right Danish People's Party mounted a strong campaign against the new law, which nonetheless passed with the support of 85 of the country's 111 MPs.
I’m not sure how matters of separation of church and state work in Denmark, so I can’t say whether there might be some valid issues concerning religious freedom for the country’s clergy. Even if they’re archaic and bigoted, priests should not be forced to do things that violate their beliefs. Thankfully, the law does exempt individual priests from marrying gays and lesbians if their intolerant little hearts demand it, so I think that’s all good for now.
I just love the irony in this line:
"The minority among Danish people, politicians and priests who are against, they've really shouted out loud throughout the process." [by Denmark church minister Manu Sareen]
Of course, the only context you’d hear that said in the U.S. is by homophobes talking about LGBT rights activists. Talk about contrast.
At any rate, kudos to Denmark for continuing its proud tradition of being a beacon for equality!
(via Joe. My. God.)