The Lutheran Church of Sweden voted today to allow gays to marry in the church.
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,” Åsa Regnér, head of the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) – the country’s largest gay rights group, said in a statement.
Local Catholic and Orthodox churches are unhappy:
“This is a step backwards, not only from Christian tradition, but also from all of the major world’s religions views of what marriage is,” writes Vicar Fredrik Emanuelson of the Catholic Church and Father Misha Jaksic, coordinator of the family of Orthodox Churches at the Christian Council of Sweden (CCS), in a joint statement.