One Germany’s largest Christian denominations have overwhelmingly supported to allow same-sex marriage in a country that has yet to make it law.
The vote on Jan 15 was by the country’s second largest church but while it has voted in favour of same-sex marriage it has given the priests an out by allowing those who oppose same-sex nuptials to opt-out of the process.
According to The Blaze, Rheinische Evangelische Kirche, which represents 2.6 million members and more than 700 parishes, will also recognize and legitimize the marriage ceremonies that took place before its official embrace of gay unions.
A translated press release on the denomination’s website noted that the “equality of homosexual and heterosexual couples” was decided at a recent meeting “with a very large majority” deciding to embrace gay marriage.
“Following the decision today pastors may refuse the marriage of same-sex life partners,” the statement read, noting that some faith leaders made it clear during the general synod that was recently held that they believe that gay unions are not compatible with the Bible.
If a priest decides to opt out, the gay couple wishing to marry will reportedly automatically be sent to another church willing to perform the ceremony.
Last Updated on Jan 21, 2016