Lutheran Church of Norway votes in favor of gay marriages.
Norway is a progressive country. It has already adopted policies and legislation to support minority rights, women's rights, and LGBT rights. It was the first country to pass an anti-discrimination law to protect the rights for same-sex couples.
In the year 2009, it became the sixth country to provide complete marriage equality to same-sex couples. Last Monday, Norway again displayed its sense of practicality in this modern world by voting in favor of allowing same-sex marriage in the church. At the annual conference of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, 88 delegates out of 115 in total, voted to approve same-sex marriages in church.
An increasing number of churches all over the world are becoming more tolerant towards their attitude regarding the LGBT community. In the year 2015, the French Protestant Church decided to allow same-sex marriages in the church. The U.S. Presbyterian Church rewrote its Constitution to include gay marriage. The LGBT community is hoping to see in the coming years many more churches following the path.
The leader of the Open Public Church, Gard Sandaker-Nilsen, said in the wake of the church's move to allow gay marriages, that the people of Norway will be able to celebrate love independently from now on. They will be able to fall in love with whomever they want. Open Public Church is a religious movement that has its roots within the church. Open Public Church has led the campaign to change the rules regarding same-sex marriage.
According to the National Statistics Agency, about 74% of Norwegians were Lutheran Church members until last year. However, the report shows that the number is steadily declining. Under the new rules of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, priests who are opposed to same-sex marriage and who do not want to marry same-sex couples would have the right to object from participating in the ceremony.
— Tulip Penney (@TulipPenney) April 12, 2016
The Church of England, however, has no plans to change their Constitution in the near future. They oppose same-sex marriage. They have even banned the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) from participating in Anglican Communion bodies for the next three years, because of their acceptance of same-sex marriage in their church.
The Anglican meeting held last week in Zambia was snubbed by Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and the province of Jerusalem and the Middle East protesting the Church of England's decision to ban TEC. According to Eliud Wabukala, the Archbishop of Kenya, the “"doctrinal confusion… has been allowed to take root in the Communion."