The Danish Government has decided that same-sex couples are to be able to marry in church on equal terms with heterosexual couples, and that they will be able to call themselves spouses. This decision builds upon the Government Platform, which states that all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark must have the opportunity to be married in church regardless of their sexual orientation.
The Government has now decided that same-sex couples in Denmark in the future will be able to marry and to call themselves spouses if they choose to get married either in church or at the town hall registry office.
In the Government Platform, the Government has stipulated that it wishes to give all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark the opportunity to get married in church regardless of their sexual orientation. Therefore, the Government will present a parliamentary bill enabling same-sex couples to marry both at the town hall registry office and in church.
As part of the implementation of its decision, the Government will ensure that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark is able to have two marriage ceremonies: the existing marriage ceremony for uniting a man and a woman, supplemented by a new marriage ceremony for uniting same-sex couples. The new marriage ceremony will be prepared in close cooperation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, and the bishops have announced that they will participate in this work. It has also been decided that each pastor is to have the freedom to refuse to marry same-sex couples. This freedom will be guaranteed by law.
The legal consequences of a marriage between same-sex couples will, until further notice, correspond to the legal consequences of a registered partnership. In the Government Platform, the Government has also made clear that it will examine the possibilities of making other amendments to the Marriage Act towards ensuring equal treatment of heterosexual and same-sex couples. Consequently, a report has been commissioned to examine the implications of amendments to the Marriage Act, particularly in relation to the provisions of the Children Act. Once this report has been presented, the Government will address to what extent the legal consequences of same-sex marriages are to be revised. This work will be coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.
The Minister for Social Affairs and Integration and the Minister for Gender Equality and Ecclesiastical Affairs will invite the political parties to take part in negotiations on the forthcoming legislative work and the commissioning of the report as soon as possible.
For additional information, contact: Bodil Liv Holm, Press Secretary, Ministry of Gender Equality and Ecclesiastical Affairs, phone: (+45) 22 68 85 69, or email: email@example.com