The Battle over Marriage Equality Goes Global

Written by | Lifestyle

gay sunrise

Bishops in Australia and England fight marriage equality, but there’s good news in Norway.


The New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board announced that Australia’s same-sex marriage bill has a loophole that can permit local bakers and florists to deny gay couples service based on religious principles. This was cheered by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, who has also advocated for religious schools to hire only individuals who believe exclusively in heterosexual marriage.


Bishops in the Church of England have decided to hold to their traditional teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Peter Sanlon, Vicar of St. Mark’s Church in Tunbridge Wells warned against “watering down” the church’s position on homosexuality in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

North Dakota

North Dakota continues to use language indicating one man and one woman on marriage licenses, and their Republican-led state Senate (by a vote of 15 to 31) rejected a measure to change state law to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality.


Norway was the sixth country in the world to legalize same sex marriage; it’s taken a while for its churches to catch up. Now, the Lutheran Church in Norway has voted to enable pastors to conduct same-sex marriages. Moments after the vote, Kjell Frølich Benjaminsen and Erik Skjelnæs became the first same-sex couple in the nation to officially have a Church-sanctioned wedding ceremony. They’ve been legally married for 36 years.

Last modified: July 27, 2017