French Protestant church allows gay marriage blessing

The move comes two years after Paris legalised gay nuptials amid protests backed by the majority Roman Catholic Church


Reuters May 17, 2015
PHOTO AFP

PARIS: France's United Protestant Church (EPUdF) voted on Sunday to allow pastors to bless same-sex marriages, two years after Paris legalised gay nuptials amid protests backed by the majority Roman Catholic Church.

The EPUdF, created in 2012 in a merger of France's Lutheran and Reformed churches, said its synod also agreed that individual pastors or parishes can decide whether or not they will organize such blessings.

Protestants make up about two percent of the population in France, and two-thirds of them are evangelicals and mostly against same-sex marriage. About two-thirds of the French identify themselves as Catholic, although regular church attendance is in the single figure percentages.

Read: Ireland prepares historic referendum on gay marriage

"The synod has decided to take a step forward in accompanying people and these couples by opening the possibility of celebrating liturgical blessings if they want," said Laurent Schlumberger, president of the United Protestant Church.

The vote produced a large majority for the blessings, but Schlumberger acknowledged that "different opinions remain in our Church on this question."

Blessing or marrying same-sex couples has been a divisive issue in Protestant churches, with some liberal ones - such as those in Sweden and Denmark - fully approving gay weddings and others only offering a blessing service that is different than that for traditional marriage.

Read: Luxembourg PM first gay EU leader to marry

Conservative Protestant churches, especially evangelicals, oppose same-sex marriage as against Biblical teaching.

Roman Catholicism, the largest global church representing just over half the world's 2.2 billion Christians, also opposes same-sex marriage.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read