Denmark approved a gay marriage law on
Thursday, becoming the 11th country to extend equal
marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.
According to the AP, Denmark's
Parliament voted 85-24 in favor of changing the nation's marriage
Gay and lesbian couples will be allowed
to marry either at City Hall or in the Church of Denmark, provided a
priest agrees to officiate.
“It will be up to each priest whether
he or she will perform gay marriages, but the government gives all
members of the church the right to get married in the church, whether
they want to marry a person of the opposite or same sex,” Prime
Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who backed the move, earlier told
The legislation will come into effect
next Friday, June 15.
Denmark became the first country to
legalize registered partnerships for gay couples in 1989. The
state's Lutheran Church has blessed such unions since 1997.
While 7 European
countries have legalized marriage equality, only 2 – Iceland and
Sweden – allow full wedding ceremonies for gay couples.