Sunday, August 5, 2007

Swedes on the March

Here is a news item of interest. If the Swedes can support gay people, why can’t others?

Church Leaders Join Stockholm Gay Pride March

by Newscenter Staff

Posted: August 5, 2007 - 11:00 am ET
(Stockholm) Swedish political and church leaders marched in Stockholm's LGBT pride parade Saturday, drawing large cheers and applause from thousands of people lining the streets of the capital.
About 30 members of the Swedish Lutheran Church, including the deans of the cathedrals of Stockholm and Uppsala. The Church is the largest denomination in the country.
In a statement the church said it wanted to "break the masses' big silence" regarding gays, bisexuals and transsexuals.
Representatives of the governing coalition and major opposition parties in Parliament also marched. The group included three cabinet ministers.
On Friday, Fredrik Reinfeldt became the first serving Swedish Prime Minister to take part in pride festivities when he toured a downtown park where pre-pride activities were taking place.
Close to 50,000 people marched in the parade while about a half-million people lined streets.
Prior to the march police and health officials advised people to bring plenty of drinking water to the parade as temperatures climbed into the 90s.
Earlier this year an international study of attitudes towards gays found Sweden the most the most welcoming country for gays.
Early next year it is expected Parliament will approve a same-sex marriage bill.
Sweden already has civil partnerships under a law enacted in 1995 that gives most of the rights and obligations of marriage to same-sex couples who register. But the country's LGBT community and moderate politicians have stepped up lobbying to have the law amended to permit gays and lesbians to marry.
A parliamentary committee studying the issue last year called civil partnerships outdated and has recommended Parliament allow same-sex marriage. It also would allow gay couples to marry in churches.
The Swedish Lutheran Church has said once the bill is approved it will conduct same-sex marriages in its churches.
© 2007

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