Danish PM to receive 'Salmon' prize at gay pride
August 13, 2004
COPENHAGEN — Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen will receive the
"Salmon of the year" award at the Gay Pride parade here this
weekend for having "swum against the stream", the National
Association of Gays and Lesbians said on Thursday.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
"This prize will reward him for the courageous personal position
he has taken as a political leader in favor of gay marriage in
church," association spokesman Jesper Kiby Denborg told AFP.
"This is the first time in Denmark's history that a prime
minister clearly and publicly supports gays, even though some have
supported us in private," he added.
Fogh Rasmussen has accepted his nomination and is planning to
attend the ceremony at City Hall in Copenhagen following the parade
on Saturday, his spokesperson told AFP.
The Danish prime minister provoked an uproar last January when
he said he was in favor of equal rights to religious marriage for
homosexuals and heterosexuals.
"I find it hard to believe that God would be harder on
homosexuals and lesbians than on other people," he wrote in a
"(But) politicians should not interfere in the internal life of
the church and should leave ritual in the hands of pastors and
parish councillors," he said, emphasizing that he was expressing
his personal viewpoint on the matter.
Denmark was the first country in the world to allow homosexuals
to "marry" at city hall in October 1989 when it legalized so-called
Since then, however, gays in Denmark have fought for the right
to get married in church.
In 1997, Denmark's 11 bishops did decide to allow homosexual
couples to receive a church blessing, but have continued to refuse
them ceremonies including the ritual phrase: "Will you have this
man (woman) as your lawful wedded husband (wife)", and the right to
have their names listed in the parish registry.
About 85 percent of the Danish population belong to the
Evangelical Lutheran Church. – Sapa-AFP
Danish opposition proposes legalizing gay church weddings [31/03/04]