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Survey: Most priests would marry gay couples if permitted by church

Same-sex marriage is legal in Finland, but the Lutheran Church does not allow wedding ceremonies in churches.

Homopari kakunkoristeena
Image: AOP

A survey of 534 priests in Finland shows that 57 percent would marry homosexual couples if the Evangelical Lutheran Church allowed it.

According to the survey by the University of Eastern Finland, one in five priests said they would perform same-sex marriage rites now, even though it is against the church’s official position.

By contrast, about 30 percent of respondents said they would not officiate at gay weddings under any circumstances.

In addition, about a quarter of priests said they have faced discrimination or felt pressure because of their opinions on the matter. Many respondents said they were concerned that the issue of gay marriage would cause considerable tension and controversy within the church.

In Finland, same-sex marriage has been legal since March 2017.

Last year, the church reprimanded six clerics for officiating at gay weddings. The previous year, the Helsinki diocese also issued a severe reprimand to a priest for the practice.

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