As marriage equality has spread steadily around the globe, in most countries this has been restricted to civil marriage only: church weddings are excluded. The exception is the Nordic region, where the Swedish government and the Swedish Lutheran Church have both approved same sex weddings in church. In Denmark, where there process is under way to upgrade the present civil unions to full marriage, the Danish Lutheran church is currently considering following in the path already seet by their Swedish Lutheran counterparts. Now it seems that the Icelandic Lutheran church is likewise considering the same decision.
In the Swedish precedent, it was the provision in the law for church wedding that forced the church into serious consideration of the issue: there are strong institutional links between the Swedish state and the Lutheran church (which used to be funded directly by government). Similar circumstances, and similar provisions in the laws proposed by Denmark and Iceland, are the reason the churches in those countries are also having to consider a response. The Swedish solution was to approve gay marriage in church - but to leave an opt-out clause in place that would protect individual pastors, who may decline, in conscience, to officiate.
From Ice News:.
Icelandic church delays decision on gay marriage.
The National Church of Iceland yesterday took no formal position on a current parliamentary bill which would amend marriage laws to include gay couples. The national synod instead voted to refer the matter to the church’s doctrine and rites committee.
The new unified marriage bill being proposed by Iceland’s Minister of Justice and Human Rights could become law as early as 27th June this year and would allow religious groups, including the national church, to legally marry same sex couples. Religious groups are already able to bless registered partnerships which are almost identical to marriage, legally speaking.