Icelandic church delays decision on gay marriage

lesbians1The National Church of Iceland yesterday took no formal position on a current parliamentary bill which would amend marriage laws to include gay couples. The national synod instead voted to refer the matter to the church’s doctrine and rites committee.

The new unified marriage bill being proposed by Iceland’s Minister of Justice and Human Rights could become law as early as 27th June this year and would allow religious groups, including the national church, to legally marry same sex couples. Religious groups are already able to bless registered partnerships which are almost identical to marriage, legally speaking.

The issue was discussed yesterday in a heated debate at the ongoing annual national synod and the bill was supported by 91 priests and theologians. Despite 91 being a large majority of the 125 attendees eligible to vote, those opposed to the parliamentary bill were able to force a vote on sending the decision to the church’s committee on rites and dogma. That vote was won 56 against 53, RUV reports.

Whether or not the law is officially welcomed by the church is yet to be revealed; but the bill seems increasingly likely to pass parliament either way.

Large photo: Anders Peter Amsnæs

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