(Blogmensgo, November 29, 2011) The first same-sex marriages should be celebrated in Denmark by the summer of 2012. Manu Sareen, Minister for Equality and the Church since October 3, 2011, will file a bill to that effect in Parliament. It will take about six months to enact the law and its implementing decree.
Legalizing gay marriage will delete concomitant PACS (or “registered partnership” according to local terminology), that Denmark was the first country to establish. The Minister Sareen’s announcement comes after the death of activist Axel Axgil on October 29, 2011, who had PACS (Eigil and his companion, who died in 1995) on 1 October 1989, that is to say the same day that the PACS came into force in Denmark.
The homosexual and heterosexual couples have exactly the same rights and their union will be uniformly designated by the word marriage. Homosexual couples can adopt children after two years (see our article in the March 18, 2009) and the Lutheran pastors who wish are allowed since 1997 to bless the little pacs by truncating the ritual of marriage.
Protestantism has a status of state religion in Denmark, where the Lutheran church claims more than 80% of the population among its faithful. The previously refused obedience same-sex marriages, although most of its bishops are in favor of marriage between gays or lesbians.
The Bishop of Copenhagen, Peter Skov-Jakobsen, welcomes this new “political decision”, while saying he understands that some people resent the predicted demise of the statutory differences between married couples and civil unions. Last year, 63% of Danes were in favor of religious marriage of homosexual couples (see our article in the March 10, 2010).
The text of the future marriage law should provide a number of details concerning the rights and duties of spouses and how marriages are celebrated. The pastors who wish will probably not allowed to gay marriages, but the Lutheran Church must find replacements for their blessing marriages between same sex.
By consulting the English Wikipedia file of the Minister Manu Sareen, I see it “was named Politician of the Year in 2003, 2006 and 2007 by the Association LGBT Danmark”. It is also the first man having been appointed Minister for Equality in Denmark.