Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

Iceland – the gay issue

Posted by Fr Mark on June 12, 2010

Iceland’s Parliament unanimously approves gay marriage

From PinkNews, 11.6.10:

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/06/11/icelands-parliament-unanimously-approves-gay-marriage/

Politicians in Iceland have passed a law legalising gay marriage. The country, which is the only one in the world to have an out gay leader, prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, passed the law today. All 49 lawmakers approved the change, which will see the words “man and man, woman and woman” added to marriage legislation. The law allows churches to perform gay weddings if they wish and says “ministers will always be free to perform [gay] marriage ceremonies, but never obliged to”. Iceland’s protestant church has not yet decided whether it will hold the ceremonies, which replace registered partnerships. The country’s president has to approve the bill but is highly likely to do so as this is a formality and public opinion is in favour of the change. Ms Sigurdardottir, 67, became the world’s first out gay head of government last April, when her Social Democrats formed a left-wing coalition with the Left-Green Movement. Iceland repealed laws banning homosexuality in the 1940s. In 2006, it widened provisions to give gay couples all the reproductive and parenting rights open to straight couples. The country is the seventh in Europe to legalise gay marriage.

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