Danish Parliament Overwhelmingly Approves Equal Marriage LawsS

In news of good things happening throughout the world, Denmark's parliament, which consists of the sole house of Folketing, approved new gender-neutral marriage legislation this Thursday by an 85 to 24 vote margin. Pink News reported that the legislation was passed after an opposition amendment creating a separate marriage system for gay couples was soundly defeated. The new laws, which take effect on June 15, allow the Evangelical Lutheran Church — to which 80 percent of Danes belong — to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples, though the laws also do not oblige individual priests to perform any sort of marriage rites, thus neutralizing any objections that the government has infringed on citizens' religious freedoms.

This all sounds like a sensible way to move the same-sex marriage debate along in this country, but it's hardly reasonable for Americans to expect their legislators to handle anything so sensibly — Denmark has demonstrated a super progressive attitude towards same-sex unions ever since 1989, when it became the first country in the world to institute a system of registered civil unions. As a bonus, the latest legislation will grant "marriage status" to any couple already joined in a civil union.

Danish parliament approves equal marriage laws [Pink News]