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Denmark to approve gay weddings in church

Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Denmark's government wants to allow same-sex couples to get married in formal church weddings, instead of the short blessing ceremonies that the state Lutheran Church currently offers.

The government said Wednesday it's preparing to launch a proposal in February to change Denmark's marriage laws.

In 1989, Denmark became the first country to allow registered gay partnerships. Since 1997, gay couples in Denmark can be wed in special blessing ceremonies at the end of the regular church service.

Denmark's Church Affairs Ministry says the law change would put Denmark on par with countries including Iceland and Sweden that allow full wedding ceremonies for gay couples.

Danish clergy would retain the right to refuse to wed gay couples without sanctions.

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