The Church of Norway voted at its annual conference on Monday to allow gay marriage, with the Christian body joining the French Protestant Church, the U.S. Episcopal and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) denominations, among others, in now supporting same-sex unions. Of the 115 delegates at the Lutheran denomination’s synod, 88 backed embracing gay marriage, while also including a caveat for priests who do not wish to take part in same-sex weddings that allows them to opt out of doing so, Reuters reported.
The denomination itself called the institutional change “a historic decision that marks a shift in the church’s teaching on marriage,” with the vote reportedly receiving a standing ovation from most of the participants in attendance. The move — which came after the Church of Norway preliminarily voted during its general synod last year to accept gay marriage — left supporters of the Open Public Church — a movement that has pushed for the embrace of same-sex nuptials — overjoyed. FULL REPORT