Denmark: Gay marriage legislation passed by summer says PM

13 Mar 2012

Danish Flag

Government gives green light to gay church weddings - but priests have the final say

Gay couples can look forward to a church wedding this summer.

At her weekly press conference, Tuesday, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said the government is putting the finishing touches to a bill that will come into force on June 15th, allowing homosexuals and lesbians to walk down the aisle in the church of their choice - if they can find a priest who's willing to conduct the ceremony.

"It will always be up to the individual priest as to whether he or she is prepared to bless gay couples but this legislation provides homosexuals with the same rights as heterosexuals," said the PM.

A number of priests have already voiced their displeasure at the prospect of the church hosting gay weddings, but Ms Thorning Schmidt said it's been a 'hard, but good' debate and the government's managed to come up with a solution that respects both points of view.

"It's an important message for a country such as Denmark to send - we respect every citizen's choice but we also respect priests' choice too," she said.