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Swedish Church approves gay blessings

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11:52 CEST+02:00
Homosexual couples will be able to have their registered partnership blessed in a special ceremony in the Swedish Church.

The decision follows a vote by the Church Assembly, the highest body of authority in the Swedish Church, on Thursday.

The result, which saw 160 vote for the change, and 81 vote against, was not unexpected, since a Church Assembly committee had already declared its support for the move.

Gay marriage received another boost on Thursday with the news that from the spring of next year civil registrars may not be able to refuse to conduct partnership ceremonies for homosexual couples.

Currently, civil registrars may refuse gay partnership ceremonies and one fifth of Stockholm district's 256 registrars are not registered to perform them.

But that will change if a new law comes into force as planned by the government on April 1st, reported Dagens Nyhter.

"Those who refuse will lose their authorisation to perform wedding ceremonies," said Niklas Ljunggren, legal adviser at the Ministry of Justice.

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