A Danish vicar has apologised after refusing bury a deceased woman because she was a lesbian. The Lutheran vicar from the Aalborg diocese in North Jutland says he regrets the decision to refuse the burial of 74-year-old woman who had lived in a registered partnership with another woman for 20 years.
Speaking to DR1 about the decision, the woman’s daughter Kirsten Østergaard said, “I thought, can this really be possible that we have to be ashamed? I looked at my mother’s partner and she was silent. I was upset for her. What a terrible situation to put her in.”
After receiving complaints from both Kirsten and her mother’s 80-year-old partner, the vicar claims he came to the wrong decision because he is against gay marriage and therefore thought he should be against burying homosexuals as well.
“I made an exceptional mistake. The biggest mistake I have ever made in my time as a vicar. It was a gaffe and short-circuit of dimensions and completely against what I believe in,” he told DR. “It was a completely wrong conclusion. I have asked for forgiveness, initially from two of the family,” he added.
Ms Østergaard, however, does not feel that the apology is acceptable. “What use is that to me? This is about his views about humanity, and I don’t think those have changed. He has probably regretted it, but not because of us – rather because he has put himself in a very bad light,” she said.