The Norwegian Association of Clergy has asked the Church of Norway to create a legal way of performing marriages for gay couples; while same-sex marriage was legalized back in 2008, replacing the 1998 law which only gave gays the right to enter civil unions similar to marriage, but denied them the right to church weddings. Same-sex couples are also not allowed to be adoptive parents.
The request from the Norwegian Association of Clergy follows the lack of support received from Norwegian bishops, who have been refusing to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.
PinkNews reported that the new liturgy—the customary public worship practiced by a specific religious group—would still support civil unions in Church settings and has the full backing of the clergy’s central board.
“We want the council of the Church of Norway to make a liturgy which can be used for same-sex marriage,” said organization leader Gunnar Mindestrømmen.
Although eight out of twelve bishops stated that there was no theological reason for not performing marriage ceremonies for LGBT couples, Norwegian bishops made a decision in October that pushed LGBT couples to receive Church blessings before the allowance of a civil union.
Mindestrømmen stated that members of the clergy were “very disappointed” with that verdict.
“The consequence of this statement from the bishops should be that persons who want to marry same-sex couples should be allowed to do that.”