• Sweden edition
 
Swedish couple shocked to learn marriage invalid
Wedding cake topping at drop-in wedding service during Love Stockholm, June 12

Swedish couple shocked to learn marriage invalid

Published: 28 Oct 2010 15:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Oct 2010 15:25 GMT+02:00

Lena Hane and Peter Stenberg of Djurås in central Sweden had an "ordinary Swedish wedding" on July 10th at Rättvik Church, 45 kilometres north of Djurås.

Prior to the wedding, the couple ensured everything was in order. They applied for and received an inquiry into impediments to marriage (hindersprövning), met the minister and booked the church.

"We checked everything we had to check. We got married in a church," Hane told The Local.

After the wedding, Hane called the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) several times to check on the status of the paperwork because she wanted to change her name and take her husband's. Initially, she was told it could take up to seven to eight weeks because people were on vacation over the summer.

On Tuesday, Hane learned that the minister, Ingemar Bergmark, had, unbeknownst to him, lost his right to officiate at marriages after the rules for church weddings changed on May 1st.

"We are not married in the eyes of the law. I did everything right. I didn't have to check if he has the right to marry. The only thing I had to do was get the inquiry into impediments to marriage and book the time," said Hane.

The changes took place after the Church of Sweden decided to allow same-sex marriages last October. Consequently, the rules changed so that every single pastor in the future had to have the individual right to perform marriages. Previously, it was enough to simply be a pastor Church of Sweden.

Unfortunately, the list of pastors that was used to bestow the new rights dated from 10 years ago, when the church separated from the state, and did not include retired ministers, including 77-year-old Bergmark.

The problem has surfaced on a larger scale and lawyers at the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet) are now investigating the situation.

Hane has no idea how long it will take for her marriage to become legal or whether she and Stenberg will have to marry again.

"I am not the only one. He has married others this summer. The Swedish church just missed him because he's retired," said Hane.

Hane, who works as a caregiver for palliative cancer patients who want to die at home, now worries about her legal status in case anything happens to her or Stenberg.

"If I die, will the laws apply? We have two children each that we are responsible for," she said.

She bears no ill will towards the pastor nor the church, neither of whom she has spoken to since discovering the mistake.

"I want to get my driver's license, but I can't do anything. I'm just hoping this will be all right and we can go on with our lives," she said.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:21 October 28, 2010 by Rishonim
This is a sign for them and they should take advantage of this opportunity and call it quit. I do believe that things happen for a reason.
16:25 October 28, 2010 by jwlundgren
As far as I understand Swedish law, if you register your partnership you are covered. Alternatively, just go get a court wedding. I had a very nice ceremony at Stockholm's Stadhuset.
17:10 October 28, 2010 by Puffin
I read the original articla in Dalarnas tidning today - however The Local has missed the bit in the original article that says that all they need to do is to write a letter to Kammarkolleget to get their marriage declared legal by the government - it should not be a problem - several similar cases have already been resolved
14:37 October 29, 2010 by salalah
Rishonim, you are funny!

"We have 2 children each" haha! They should just swap children instead! :)
14:51 October 29, 2010 by eZee.se
Church of Sweden... 'nuff said.
20:39 October 30, 2010 by Toffee_apple
Good luck to this couple, but I doubt they will be able to get this problem resolved without getting married again. This is the type of situation Swedish authorities see as making (more) money out of and will simply take advantage of it. Happens every time unless the plantifs really fight hard.
Today's headlines
Interview
'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag

Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag tells The Local why he plans to remove the term "race" from all Swedish law, how he responds to his critics, and why Sweden must steer clear of xenophobia. READ  

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Tourism in Sweden is on the rise, with the first half of 2014 seeing a boom in visiting figures for both domestic and foreign tourists. READ  

Northern Dispatches
How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

Ex-Londoner Paul Connolly has just survived a northern Sweden heat wave. But it wasn't the high temperatures that were the real problem, he recounts. READ  

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

Saturday marks the Stockholm Pride Parade, the biggest event of Pride Week (and the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia). Here's what to see and where to be, as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities for the weekend. READ  

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden
File photo: Carl Dougge/Flickr

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden

Even though Sweden's Traffic Agency has drastic plans to reduce the number of people killed by trains in Sweden, a new report shows that figures are on the rise. READ  

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

UPDATED: A woman in southern Sweden is furious after stumbling upon scores of skulls and human bones inside Ikea bags in a church. The man who dug up the bones, however, says it's not as bad as it looks. READ  

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

There are now more Swedish Wikipedia entries than any other language in the world, besides English. And there's one Swede who's largely responsible. READ  

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police
The aftermath of the attack in Seved, Malmö on July 6th 2014. Drago Prvulovic / TT

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police

Police in southern Sweden have concluded that a man who was beaten with an iron pipe for hanging an Israeli flag in his window was not a victim of a hate crime. READ  

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook
Photo: Claus Gertsen/TT

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook

After fighting off a fierce takeover bid from Pfizer, Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca raised its 2014 earnings outlook and posted rising second quarter sales on Thursday. READ  

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag meets children in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Stockholm demonstration against Israel
National
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
National
Gender neutral pronoun 'hen' enters dictionary
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

735
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se