Church of Norway Approves Same-Sex-Inclusive Liturgy

The Church of Norway has approved a new liturgy inclusive of same-sex weddings taking place in churches there.

The measure was approved by 89 of the members of the general synod at the Evangelical-Lutheran church in Trondheim on Monday.

Delegate Gard Sandaker-Nilsen said of the vote: “This is the day when a prayer and a dream have been fulfilled.

“No couple should be met with a cold shoulder,” he added.

Sandaker-Nilsen registered his own civil partnership back in 2008.

The bishop of Oslo, Ole Kristian Kvarme, said that the vote would cause “pain”, despite voting in favour of it.

Among other changes, the liturgy removes the words “bride” and “bridegroom”, and some other passages from the Scriptures.

Despite the new liturgy going into effect on Wednesday, the former ritual also remains in use.

Those priests who do not approve are allowed to decline to marry same-sex couples.

But one quit the church after the vote.

Oyvind Bard Benestad left the church with immediate effect as he said he could not support the new liturgy.

Back in 2009, Norway made its marriage laws gender-neutral. This replaced legislation from 1993 which allowed same-sex couples to register their partnerships.

73 percent of Norway’s 5.2 million residents are members of the Church.

Norway last year became the fourth country in the world to allow trans people to decide their own gender.