NewsWed Dec 17, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Swedish Court Rejects Claim of “Marriage” Between Homosexual “Priests”
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
STOCKHOLM, December 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A homosexual couple, who were "married" in Canada, have lost their case against the Swedish Tax Authority in a ruling by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten) which said that the two could not be regarded as a married couple under Swedish law, reports Sweden’s The Local.
Lars Gårdfeldt and Lars Arnell, who are both "priests" in the Church of Sweden, alleged discrimination by the tax authority when their "marriage" was classified as a civil partnership.
The Lutheran Church of Sweden already offers "blessings" to homosexual civil unions, which have the same legal status as natural married couples in the country, but only lack the name of “marriage” and the sanction of a church "wedding." The Swedish parliament is currently preparing to consider granting the right to such “weddings” in its so-called “gender neutral marriage” legislation.
In this ruling Sweden’s highest court said that a Swedish law from 1987 defines marriage as between a man and a woman and therefore the tax authority was correct to classify the same-sex "marriage" as a civil partnership.
The two homosexuals, who took their case through district court, court of appeal and finally the Supreme Court, argued that a same-sex "marriage" entered into in accordance with Canadian law should be recognized in Sweden, despite the fact that there is no legal basis for it under current Swedish law.
Sweden’s Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, told the UK’s homosexual news source, Pink News, that he plans to introduce a "gender neutral" marriage law next year.
"The coalition government has agreed that we will present a basic marriage bill to parliament.
"The three parties in favour of a gender neutral marriage law will then present an accompanying motion seeking to have such a law in place by May 1st 2009," Reinfeldt said.
Opposition to the legislation is being voiced by the Christian Democrat party, while the other three members of Sweden’s four-party coalition government, as well as the opposition Social Democrats, the country’s biggest party, support the proposal.
An AFP report on the proposed legislation stated that "pastors who do not want to perform a gay wedding ceremony may however have the right to refuse, something gay rights’ activists have criticised."
According to The Local, Left Party leader Lars Ohly wants to include a provision to force pastors to wed homosexual couples.
“In the long run it’s inappropriate to allow discrimination like this. We don’t think that someone should be allowed to refuse to wed same-sex couples,” Ohly said.
If the provision is accepted, a pastor who refuses to "marry" a same-sex couple would lose the right to perform wedding ceremonies.
In a LSN report last year Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, told LifeSiteNews that the traditional family has come to "the end of the road" in Sweden.
In Sweden over 60% of children are born out of wedlock, and crime rates have risen, which Mosher attributes to the lack of the stability in children’s lives that is afforded by the traditional family.
"Now that marriage no longer has any special significance in Swedish society, homosexuals have merely used the demise of marriage as an opportunity to legitimise their own behaviour," Mosher said.
"When you allow homosexuals to marry, you are saying that the aspect of raising children, the aspect of procreation is completely irrelevant," warned Mosher. "You are finally divorcing what you call marriage from any relationship of bearing and having children, and that empties out the concept entirely, making it devoid of any significance. So it’s the end of the road for the family."
Read related LifeSiteNew.com coverage:
Sweden Considers "Gender Neutral Marriage" Law
Sweden Mulls Law Allowing Gay-Marriage in Civil and Religious Ceremonies
French Tax Authorities Recognize Dutch Same-Sex "Marriage"