Norway’s dominant Lutheran Church approves gay marriage

Norway's Lutheran Church approved same sex marriage in April 2016, seven years after the nation approved same-sex civil marriage.

OSLO (Reuters) — Norway’s Lutheran Church has voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, becoming the latest of a small but growing number of churches worldwide to do so.

Last year the French Protestant Church allowed gay marriage blessings, while the U.S. Presbyterian Church approved a change in the wording of its constitution to include same-sex marriage.

In a vote at the annual conference of the Norwegian Lutheran Church on Monday (April 11), 88 delegates out of 115 backed same-sex marriage.

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“Finally we can celebrate love independently of whom one falls in love with,” said Gard Sandaker-Nilsen, leader of the Open Public Church, a religious movement within the church that had campaigned to change the rules.

Under the new rules, priests who do not want to marry a same-sex couple will still have the right to object.

The vote by Norway’s Lutheran Church reflects increasingly liberal attitudes in wider Norwegian society to issues such as homosexuality.

Norway became the second country in the world after Denmark to allow same-sex registered partnerships in 1993. The Nordic country of 5.2 million people has allowed civil same-sex marriage since 2009.

Some 74 percent of Norwegians were members of the Lutheran Church last year, according to the national statistics agency, but that number has been declining.

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  • They are in good company. These denominations will marry same gender couples:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Moravian Church Northern Province
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Presbyterian Church USA
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

  • The United Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada also perform same-sex marriages

  • Fuirst, the very First place you people always go is anal sex. What is it about anal sex that just gets you going so much?

    Second, some 37% of heterosexuals practice anal sex. That means there are more heterosexuals doing the what-what-in-the-but then there are gay people in toto.

    But most important of all…

    THAT ISN’T A QUOTE FROM THE BOOK IN QUESTION. And if it is, the author was merely quoting the actual source in order to point out the absolute nonsense antigay people promote.

    It’s from an antigay screed called The Nature of Homosexuality, page after laughable page of nonsense written deep in the dark hearts of antigay bigots. That whole passage about anal sex is just more fantasized nonsense coming from an ignorant man with an agenda. There is just enough science in it– as is your quote with nice, big words– to give it credibility.

    I can tell you this form my experience and that of the hundreds of gay men I have known in my life:

    YOU WISH!!!!!!!

  • PS

    Jesus doesn’t like it when you lie, slander, and revile. It makes the Baby Jesus cry.

  • I find the teaser to this article highly misleading. This development is not “good news for gay Vikings.” This is tragic news for the country. (Even if you don’t agree with me on this, I think the teaser reflects an ideological bias not helpful from a news organization that is supposedly objective.)

  • All right, all right…..let´s stone to death all the heterosexuals who engage in anal sex…

  • Tragic news for anti gay bigots looking for validation from the national church of Norway.

    The people who usually are the first to claim bias are the ones least likely to honestly describe facts. Accusations of bias do not equal proof a story is untrue.

  • Color me un-shocked that as with the rest of old Europe, the state church of Norway has abandoned biblical authority.

  • You’re right Ben. People like Mark apparently have such massive sexual problems that’s all they can see in everyone around them. They push their own issues on everyone else, not realizing that they’re looking in a mirror.

    It always makes me wonder, now that he’s laid himself bare, what’s going on in his life. I appreciate your honesty and openness Mark, inadvertent though it may have been.

  • Everett, reread the Sodom story carefully, then check the other 5 places it’s referenced in the bible. None are about sex. The homophobic “ministers” of the 17th century who pounced on the story and became livid about the (nonexistent) sexual aspect, focused on “Sodomy”. If that invented word was used accurately, it would be about inhospitality.

  • Please explain why it is tragic for your country that your religion now accepts gay people as full members of the community. As Yoh says, it seems more tragic for you than for your country.

    According out Wikipedia, Norway has 76 % of the population as members of the church, but only 12% actually attend monthly, and only 5% attend regularly. Only 21% think that religion is important.

  • Do you actually think Sodom is the only passage in the Bible that discusses homosexuality? It’s not even important to the issue.

  • The Bible also has passages about how women are to be considered property and are unsuited to teaching men. Go figure. All believer’s choose which areas are more relevant than others.

    The only difference between a mainstream “Cafeteria Christian” and a Fundamentalist is the amount of honesty in the approach. The mainstreamer acknowledges it, the fundamentalist 1ies about it and claims those who disagree with them are “unbiblical”. Fundamentalism really looks more like an acquired character flaw than a religious belief

  • Is your flesh property, Lare?

    As for women not teaching men in church, fine and dandy with me. Men understand how men think and I’m sure can teach one another more effectively. In the same way that older women are told to instruct younger women.

    And as I told Jack earlier today, I would not trust anyone who goes around calling everyone liars any farther than I could throw them. It screams one of two things — paranoia or projection, neither of which any sane person would want anything to do with.

  • Shawnee,I didn’t say Sodom is the only relevant text. Yes, it is relevant. Try responding to what I actually said.

  • Ben, here is why anti-gays always make the mistake of telling us they are obsessed with “gay sex”:

    “Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.”



    An agency of the federal government, the National Institutes of Health, publishes a supporting study:


    Here’s a video that illustrates that study:

    How about a You-tube SONG that explains this?

  • Being annoyed at being called a 1iar is not the same as refuting the charge. All it means is you are thin skinned and really can’t support your positions in an honest fashion. Like when racists use the term “playing the race card” but do not show why it would be inappropriate.

    You are also not refuting my statement that fundamentalists are just as selective in their use of scripture as every other believer. Just trying to dodge the issue. SSDD

  • Modern Biblical scholars have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated relatively recently in order to provide “Biblical cover” for then-rising levels of homophobia. For example, the word “homosexual” didn’t even exist until 1870. Many major Christian and Jewish denominations condemn misusing the hate-based mistranslations to attack their fellow Americans and are marrying same gender American couples now. About 400 years ago, a group of religious authorities (sanctioned by King James I of England), secretly manipulated the English version of the Bible to reflect their own heterosexual attitude; they opposed the King kissing other men in public.