• Sweden edition
 

Government rules out gay marriage compromise

Published: 25 Oct 2008 13:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Oct 2008 13:24 GMT+02:00

The Moderates, Liberal party (Folkpartiet) and Centre party have rejected calls from the Christian Democrats for a compromise over proposed gay marriage legislation.

The reason for the decision is reported by news agency TT to be the threat of revolt by government MPs.

More than four MPs, which is what is needed for the opposition to win a vote, had declared their intention to break ranks and vote with the opposition if the government does not present a legislative proposal in line with a government inquiry report.

The inquiry's proposal is to establish the right to marriage for same-sex couples on an equal footing with those of heterosexual couples. Currently Sweden permits the registration of civil partnerships.

The proposal includes a clause that allows individual churches and clergy to refuse to conduct marriage services involving homosexual couples.

One of the MPs threatening to vote with the opposition is the Moderate party's Tomas Tobé.

"I have stated that I expect a government bill in December and that it is in line with the inquiry. I consider the compromise to have already been made in the proposal and I hope that the Christian Democrats accept it," Tobé said to TT.

"I respect that the Christian Democrats have another view and want to vote against the bill in parliament, but then they also have to respect that we vote according to our convictions," he said.

According to Sveriges Radio's Ekot news program the justice ministry has in principle completed its proposal for the framing of a new marriage law which is gender-neutral and but gives individual priests the right to refuse to marry homosexual couples.

But according to Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund, negotiations among the four party alliance to reach a compromise agreement over the issue are not exhausted.

"No, there is more to discuss among the parties. It is well known that three of the parties want to push through the legislation according to the proposal presented by the inquiry, but we Christian Democrats want to explore the possibility of finding a solution which all four parties can agree upon," Hägglund said to TT.

"It is my contention that we should strive to find a compromise in this issue in the same way as we address all the other issues over which we are in agreement."

The Liberal party leadership considered the issue on Friday but left no room for a compromise in the issue.

"We can not support any of the compromises that have been presented, we want to have a gender-neutral marriage law consistent with the inquiry's proposal," said Erik Ullenhag to TT.

Hägglund was unwilling to reveal how his party intends to act if the four-party Alliance government are unable to reach agreement.

"I have been around for a long time...I have learned that it is wise to take it one step at a time."

When asked by TT if it was a cabinet issue for the Christian Democrats, Hägglund replied:

"I think that it is very bad form if the parties start to talk in ultimatums. We know each other's points of view and we respect each other, and I believe that we can solve this issue as well," said Göran Hägglund.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Advertisement:
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

712
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com