Congratulations Norway!

Same-sex couples in Norway can now have a religious wedding in a church after a new rule was passed today (30 January).

The Synod of the main church, of which more than two thirds of Norwegians are members, passed a liturgy in Trondheim to allow clergy to officiate marriages for any couple.
89 of 112 members voted for the proposal.

The traditional text will be slightly modified, for example not using the words ‘bride’ and ‘groom’.

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‘This is the day when a prayer and a dream came true,’ said Gard Sandaker-Nilson. ‘You should not be able to give a couple the cold shoulder.’

Oslo bishop Ole Kristian Kvarme, who voted for the proposal, admitted the decision would cause him ‘grief’.

The vote has also led to priest Oyvind Bard Benestad leave the church in protest against same-sex marriage.

While clergy are not forced to perform marriages for same-sex couples, couples do have the right to marry in a church of their choice.

Norway has allowed same-sex marriage since 2009, but chose not to allow religious weddings. Denmark passed religious weddings for same-sex couples in Denmark in 2012, and Sweden did so earlier in 2009.

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