Same-sex marriage has been officially recognized in Sweden since May 1, 2009. The Swedish Parliament adopted the new gender-neutral marriage law a month earlier.
Then, that October, the Church of Sweden’s governing board voted in favor of letting a pastor wed same-sex couples and call it ‘marriage.’ The Church of Sweden, with 74% of Swedes counted as members, has given gays a religious blessing of their union since 2007.
That makes Sweden among the first countries in the world to allow gays to marry in a major church.
The law does allow individual pastors the ability to refuse to perform such marriages. That aside, same-sex marriages will be conducted as any other – except at the end, the officiant would pronounce them “lawfully wedded spouses.”
Tens of thousands of gay servicemembers have been kicked out of the U.S. military both before and after the adoption of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And with the U.S. Senate’s December, 2010 vote to repeal that policy, it is fitting we remember the very first discharged – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin. It all [...]