Gays could be granted church weddings

Homosexuals will be able to marry in church if the Swedish government follows the suggestion of a report due to be presented next year.

The report will suggest ditching the civil partnership law and allowing church weddings for gay people, according to Swedish public service broadcaster SVT.

One in ten priests in the Church of Sweden has signed a protest against allowing homosexuals to marry in church. Many others in the former state church have said they are in favour.

The report suggests each priest should be able to choose himself whether to he wants to marry a homosexual couple.

According to a survey to which the report refers, some 46 percent of Swedes are positive to gay marriage, while 31 percent are negative. About 23 percent are undecided.

A poll done by the report showed that 84 percent of Swedes felt a religious body should be able to decide for itself whether it wanted to perform such marriages.

Christian Democrat Yvonne Andersson, who took part in the reports reference group, is critical to the recommendation.

“Less than half o the people support homosexual marriage and you still want to carry it out,” she said. “I am disappointed that the report is so nonchalant about the opinion.”

The suggestion is welcomed by Arthur Thiery, head of Riks-Ekho, an association for Christian homosexuals.

“Those of us who have entered a civil union would have chosen to marry if the opportunity had existed,” he said, according to SVT. “The important thing for us is that marriage in church is upheld. We don’t want to do away with the church ceremony.”