DENMARK: Gay Marriage Vote Today

Denmark’s legislature is expected to approve same-sex marriage today.

Members of the sole house of the Danish parliament are expected to approve the legislation today after an amendment creating a separate system of marriages for gay couples was rejected yesterday. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, to which 80 percent of the Danish population belongs, will be able to perform marriage ceremonies under the new laws. New rites were written up by ten of the Church’s eleven bishops in a spirit of “good cooperation”, Bishop Kjeld Holm said.

UPDATE:The bill has passed.

Lawmakers voted 85-24 on Thursday to change Denmark’s marriage laws. The law takes effect June 15 and will put Denmark on par with countries such as Iceland and Sweden that allow full wedding ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples. In 1989, Denmark became the first country to allow the registration of gay partnerships. Since 1997 gay couples in Denmark can be wed in special blessing ceremonies at the end of regular church service.