Opposition demands gay marriage

The three opposition parties are piling pressure on the government to table a bill establishing gender-neutral marriage.

Opposition demands gay marriage
Photo: Devlyn

The leaders of the Social Democrat, Left and Green parties submitted a motion to parliament on Friday demanding that gay marriage legislation is passed by 18th March.

A clear majority in parliament is in favour of gender-neutral marriage, with only one party – the Christian Democrats, one of the four governing parties – against. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is a strong proponent of gay marriage, but the government cannot put forward a bill as long as the Christian Democrats block the idea.

“It is absurd for the Christian Democrats to get a veto,” said Mona Sahlin on Friday.

The government has put a proposal out for consultation, but the time for consultation has been set at ten months, an unusually long time. Sahlin said this was a way of sinking the law.

“It’s not such a difficult question,” she said, contrasting the short time taken to pass changes to the benefits system.

Green Party spokesman Peter Eriksson said he hoped government MPs would have the courage to vote with the opposition.

“Only four MPs need to join in order for there to be a majority. [Liberal MP] Birgitta Ohlsson and [Centre Party MP] Fredrick Federley just need to bring one more each,” he said.

The motion is the first joint proposal made by the three opposition parties, but there could be more.

“It would be strange if we couldn’t unite on more proposals,” said Left Party leader Lars Ohly.

The three party leaders are continuing to meet regularly, they said.