Most Swedish pastors willing to wed gay couples

Nearly seven in ten pastors in the Church of Sweden are open to performing marriage ceremonies for gay couples in churches.

Out of the 1,700 pastors who responded to a poll conducted by Sveriges Television (SVT), 68 percent answered positively to the question of whether they could imagine officiating gay marriages in churches.

In addition, 21 percent answered no, while 11 percent gave no response.

A bill presented to the Riksdag earlier this week by the Moderate, Centre, and Liberal Parties, calls for same-sex couples to be married in churches in Sweden as of May 1st, 2009.

The Church of Sweden plans to consider the issue at a meeting scheduled for next autumn.

“There’s a very clear majority that is open to this. And having so many pastors on board clearly makes it easier for the Church of Sweden to take such a decision,” said archbishop Anders Wejryd to SVT.