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Norway to allow same-sex church weddings

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By Catherine Hardy  with AFP
Norway to allow same-sex church weddings

<p><p></p> <h3><strong>The news</strong></h3> </p> <p>After 20 years of discussion, Norway’s main church has voted by an overwhelming majority to allow same-sex marriage. <p></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Lutheran Church of Norway today voted in favour of gay marriage: <a href="https://t.co/zXO7qz4uZN">https://t.co/zXO7qz4uZN</a> <a href="https://t.co/BHmErVhrib">pic.twitter.com/BHmErVhrib</a></p>— Christian Today (@ChristianToday) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChristianToday/status/719593888273473536">April 11, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p> <p>88 of the 115 delegates backed the decision at the annual conference of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Trondheim.</p> <p>Under the new rules, priests who do not want to marry a same-sex couple will still have the right to object.</p> <p>Those against the decision says the Bible defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. <p></p> <h3><strong>A small – but growing – number</strong></h3> </p> <p>At present, gay marriage is possible in Sweden, Denmark and a number of anglo-saxon congregations around the world.</p> <p>Norway became the second country in the world after Denmark to allow same-sex registered partnerships in 1993. </p> <p>The Nordic country of 5.2 million people has allowed civil same-sex marriage since 2009.</p> <p>Around 74% of Norwegians are members of the Lutheran Church, according to national statistics.</p> <p>The number has been declining. <p></p> <h3><strong>What they are saying</strong></h3> </p> <p><em>“Finally, we can celebrate love, independently of whom one falls in love with,”</em> – <strong>Gard Sandaker-Nilsen, leader of the Open Public Church movement.</strong></p>