• Sweden's news in English

Gains for gay marriage foes in church elections

TT/David Landes · 21 Sep 2009, 08:58

Published: 21 Sep 2009 08:58 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Both far-right Sweden Democrats as well as Frimodig kyrka, a party within the church which advocates against gender-neutral church marriages, nearly doubled their representation in the national General Synod.

The election's losers included the Centre Party, the Moderates, and the Liberals in the Church of Sweden (Folkpartister i Svenska Kyrkan - FISK).

“I’m sitting here with my heart in my throat. We had a great campaign, but it still wasn’t enough,” said Karin Perers, chair of the Centre Party’s General Synod group, to the TT news agency.

She didn’t want to believe there was any connection between the church election and next year’s parliamentary elections, but admitted that the thought had crossed her mind.

And Dag Tuvelius, editor of the Kyrkans Tidning newspaper, was quick point out the significance of the church election results

“They can also be an indication of how things will look for the parliamentary elections,” he told TT.

The number of Frimodig kyrka representatives will increase from seven to 13, while the Sweden Democrats increased their representation from four to seven.

Jan-Anders Ekelund, head of Frimodig kyrka, hailed the election results, claiming his party’s success was due to clarity on a number of issues, including the right to church weddings and party politics.

“We want marriage between a man and a woman to be preserved and we don’t believe in the political party polarization of the church,” he said.

In addition, the pro-gay marriage Greens in the Church of Sweden (Miljöpartister i Svenska kyrkan) also boosted their number of places in the General Synod from four to eight representatives.

Meanwhile, the Social Democrats’ number of representatives remained unchanged at 71, and the Left Party also held onto its three places.

Story continues below…

But the Centre Party’s number of representatives dropped from 41 to 35, while the Moderates lost four places, bringing their tally down to 41. In addition, FISK lost two places, dropping from 15 representatives down to 13.

Of the 5.6 million voters eligible to participate in church elections, about 11.8 percent made it out to the polls, roughly the same percentage as in the last church elections held in 2005.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:03 September 21, 2009 by Captcha
"When the church takes a stance on the issue of same-sex marriages, it is worthwhile to ask whether or not this is harmful or beneficial," said Archbishop Anders Wejryd in a statement.

"The church wants to support faithful relationship, and for us, from a biblical-theological perspective, the commandment of love supersedes other commandments and proscriptions in the Bible."

I take it that God was just joking about the commandments then.
14:25 September 21, 2009 by vladd777
Wrong. But we have free will to choose what we wish to believe and do..
21:56 September 21, 2009 by reason
I feel a little bad about not voting now. Pretty sure the low voter turnout was the main reason for the result. Not too worried though, there should be strong enough support for gender neutral marriage that it'll get through anyway.
22:53 September 21, 2009 by Captcha

That's cute Rationalizing sweetie. My point is that if the congregation believes it is okay the change god's laws to comply with man's laws, why even go to church.
02:11 September 22, 2009 by DavidtheNorseman
Given the massive majority of the SD, CP and M how is this any kind of major shift? I mean if the Frimodig had taken a hundred seats or something, but at the current rate of change I'm betting on the Second Coming (at which time we will all get to answer to God based on His Understanding...which some of us tend to think He already laid out quite clearly, recall the Book, the one with the Revelations) far before large change in the C of S........
05:50 September 22, 2009 by copp3rred
@Captcha: I'm going to assume you're obliquely quoting from the King James bible, which is not used by the Church of Sweden, but is happily embraced by Christian fundamentalists, the people who are just a few steps from strapping on suicide vests and trying to kill Obama. There are more than a hundred actual commandments in the Old Testament, people just cherry pick the ones they like. The simple truth is that if you spend all your time on the Old Testament you're not a Christian, and the Jews sure don't want you either.

Actually the Bible states quite clearly, in the New Testament (the part you're supposed to lend far greater weight to, if you actually are a good Christian), that you are to be obedient to the state as well as to your god. Maybe if you spent less time imposing your beliefs on people they'd listen to you.

These people need to leave the church, and good riddance to them. People like that just tarnish the image of the church and the people.
15:36 September 22, 2009 by seekingtruth
Early Christians based their understanding of Christ on the Old Testament prophecies and Jesus himself, as there was no complete New Testament until at least some 50-100 years later. So as a faithful Christian there's an equally serious need to consider the Old Testament as well, to know what Jesus was all about.

Anyhow, God's law is fulfilled through Christ so I don't see any wrong in Captcha's saying. Why Copp3rred would put him/herself as judge between good and bad Christians I do not know. If you are one who put all your stock in the New Testament however, there are clearly commands in there with the Holy Spirit clearly saying: do not engage in homosexual relations, it's sinful.
16:45 September 29, 2009 by spy
I suspect a lot has removed from both testaments over the years - one of the first examples of early censorship.

Also, perhaps they should not be taken too literally, as some stories contradict others or have since been proven to be false eg. creation vs evolution.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available