Danish gay and lesbian couples can officially get married in churches, and across the country several religious buildings are showing their pride.
Numerous churches in Denmark are celebrating the new equal marriage laws that were legislated last week, and come into full effect today.
Charlotte Cappi Grunnet, minister of St. Thomas Church in Frederiksberg, said it was wonderful to be able to finally celebrate.
She said: ‘The fact that priests have been prevented from carrying out same-sex marriages has been a violation of the Christian belief, of love and of human equality. Until now I have been forced to treat others as if their love was inferior and second class.’
So as not to infringe religious freedom under Article 9 of the Human Rights Act, churches will be free to turn away same-sex couples if they wish.
This has not stopped several churches celebrating the legislation, with many flying the rainbow flag or hanging banners of support.
Stefanskirken, a church in Copenhagen, hung the rainbow flag outside its doors and also welcomed the new law on the day with a banner saying ‘Love knows no gender – congratulations Denmark’.
On Sunday 17 June, several churches will host services and events in celebration. Just before noon in Copenhagen, rainbow colored balloons will be released from multiple churches in the area.
Thorning-Schmidt of Socialdemokraterne, Denmark’s Social Democratic party, announced 13 March the government would introduce draft legislation to legalize same-sex marriages.
Denmark is the eighth country in Europe, along with Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and The Netherlands, to enact full marriage equality.