Same-sex couples can now get married in the Church of Norway

Same-sex couples will be able to marry in the Church of Norway from this week. Senior priests in Norway's largest church finally agreed on Monday (January 30) the wording for a new same-sex-inclusive liturgy which will allows gay couples to marry in its churches. Ceremonies will be able to take place from Wednesday (February 1). The senior church synod voted in favour of allowing equal marriage in April 2016, though individual churches and vicars will still be able to opt-out and turn away gay couples. "With this approval, the church sends a message saying that gay people’s value is the same as everyone else’s and that their love is true and strong just like that of those of us whom have married a person of the opposite sex have been able to experience," Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum, the chairman of the church's National Council, told VG. According to The Local Norway, in 2015 around 73 percent of Norwegians were registered as members of the Church of Norway. Same-sex couples have been able to marry outside of the church in Norway since 1 January 2009, when the country became the first Scandinavian country and the sixth nation in the world to legalise equal marriage. Similar ceremonies are already allowed in Protestant churches across The Swedish, Danish and French churches. More stories: Sir Ian McKellen talks life before legalisation in first ever episode of Attitude Heroes Sydney gay killings of ’80s and ’90s inspired new Australian drama ‘Deep Water’