Gay Swedish Priest Vows He Will Not Marry Straight Couples

Two men are exchanging rings on their wedding day.
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Openly homosexual Church of Sweden priest Lars Gårdfeldt has vowed to refuse marriage ceremonies for straight people in protest of a loophole that allows priests to refuse to marry homosexual couples.

Gårdfeldt, who serves as a priest in the city of Gothenburg, said he will no longer marry heterosexual couples while other priests are able to deny homosexual couples in the Church of Sweden.

He said the rules that allow priests not to marry certain people should also apply in his case, telling broadcaster Sveriges Radio: “Then it has to apply to me as a homosexual, then I have to say no to hetero couples.”

According to the newspaper Goteborgs-Posten, Gårdfeldt has been an LGBT activist within the Swedish church for 25 years and married his male partner in 2006 in a ceremony in Canada before the Swedish government, and later the Church of Sweden, approved of same-sex marriage in 2009.

Torgny Lindén, Press Secretary of the Diocese of Gothenburg, commented on Gårdfeldt’s announcement, telling newspaper Expressen: “We have freedom of expression in this country. Lars Gårdfeldt has entered the debate and said this. We have no opinion on this.”

“I want to show the absurdity, theologically and ethically reprehensible, of denying marriage to consenting adults. I want to turn the debate right. We’re not recruiting gay priests. We should not ordain new priests who pass on the idea that homosexuals are inferior people,” Gårdfeldt told the newspaper.

The issue of same-sex marriage has become a focal point of the upcoming church elections in Sweden, with some advocating that all priests should be forced to conduct same-sex marriages regardless of their religious beliefs.

Jerker Schmidt, a priest and church politician for the Bourgeois Alternative, has advocated that all priests should be made to marry homosexual couples, saying: “It’s about the church’s image of God and the view of man.”

The issue has been discussed in the Swedish church since 2017 when Anna Ekström, a member of the Free Liberals, submitted a motion to repeal the “conscience clause which allows priests to reject same-sex marriage or other marriages they have objections to.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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