Gay Couple Sues
From the Web, May 12,
Stockholm -- A gay couple
married in Canada has filed suit against the Swedish government for refusing to
recognize the marriage.
Lars Gardfeldt and Lars Arnell say that Swedish income tax authority regards
they as having only a civil union, while recognizing the foreign marriages of
The federal court agreed to hear the case after lower courts rejected the
If the couple is successful Gardfeldt and Arnell would become the first legally
married gay couple in Sweden.
Sweden allows civil partnerships. Under a law enacted in 1995 same-sex
couples haves most of the rights and obligations of marriage to gay and lesbian
couples who register. But it did not provide for adoption or IVF.
In 2003 the law was amended to allow registered partners to adopt children and
since 2006 women in registered partnerships have been allowed to receive in
A parliamentary committee studying the issue has called civil partnerships
outdated and recommended Parliament allow same-sex marriage.
Six of Sweden's seven political parties support the legislation that would allow
same-sex couples to marry, leaving only the small Christian Democratic Party
opposing the measure.
Although tiny in numbers the Christian Democrats form part of a four party
coalition government and the party has been successful in thwarting government
attempts to bring in a gay marriage bill.
In January a public opinion poll found that 70-percent of the electorate support
the principal of same-sex marriage.
Last year the powerful Church of Sweden voiced its approval for gender neutral
church weddings but said its liturgy would call them partnerships and reserve in
the word marriage for opposite-sex marriages.
The denomination describes itself as Evangelical Lutheran and its membership
includes about 75 percent of Sweden's population.