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Swedish Church to join Stockholm Gay Pride parade

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18:31 CEST+02:00
The Swedish Lutheran Church will march for the first time in the Gay Pride parade in Stockholm under the slogan "Love is stronger than everything", the Church announced on Thursday.

"For the first time ever, the parade at the Pride festival will have a delegation from the Swedish Church," it said in a statement.

The parade will go through the streets of the Swedish capital on Saturday.

The Church said the delegation would include about 30 people including two deans from the Stockholm and Uppsala cathedrals.

It said it also wanted to "break the masses' big silence" regarding gays, bisexuals and transexuals.

"The Swedish Church is a Church open to everyone," Uppsala priest Ann-Katrin Bosbach explained.

Sweden, already a pioneer in giving same-sex couples the right to adopt children, looks set to allow gays to marry in the Lutheran Church by introducing a new marriage law in January 2008.

If the so-called "gender neutral" marriage legislation is adopted, the Scandinavian country would become the first in the world to allow gays to marry within a major Church.

Stockholm Pride is Scandinavia's largest Gay Pride celebration and last year 45,000 persons participated, according to its organizers.

Homosexuality was not legalized in Sweden until 1944.

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