Danish PM favours religious weddings for gays, but says church must decide
January 13, 2004
COPENHAGEN — Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at the weekend
he was personally in favour of religious weddings for homosexual
couples but it was for church leaders to decide.
Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the EU summit 13 December 2003 in Brussels (AFP/ Gerard Cerles)
A member of the Evangelical-Lutheran state church, like 85
percent of Denmark's 5.37 million people, Rasmussen told the weekly
Soendagsavisen: "I find it hard to believe that God would be harder
on homosexuals and lesbians than on other people."
"(But) politicians should not interfere in the internal life of
the church and should leave ritual in the hands of pasters and
parish councillors," he said.
On October 1, 1985, Denmark became the first country to legalise
civil weddings between gay couples but gays have since then
unsuccessfully sought the right also to marry in church.
Many pasters who favour changing church law have officiated at
private gay weddings.
Rasmussen stressed that his opinions on the matter were personal
but acknowledged it was difficult "to draw a line" between his
official views as prime minister and his private views. –Sapa-AFP
Related links stories
Denmark first country to legalise gay marriages [09/10/1998]