The Pink Triangle Trust

News Release – 2 March 2009

Norwegian Humanists Conduct Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony – A World First?

Kenilworth, 2 March 2009 — The UK gay humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has warmly welcomed the news that a kindred organisation has conducted its first legal same-sex marriage ceremony, which is probably a world first.

Human-Etisk Forbund (the Norwegian Humanist Association), which has a membership of 60,000, has conducted a ceremony for two women, Cecilia and Janne, in a community centre in Oslo with Cecilia dancing down the aisle in a blue dress with a white orchid in her hair.

Rolf Solheim, who is himself gay and a longstanding member of the UK-based Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, conducted the ceremony on behalf of H-EF, and commented: “Our authorised celebrants have conducted partnership/civil union ceremonies since 2007. However, this year Norway introduced a marriage law which gives gays and lesbians the right to use the terms ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’. There is now full parity in Norway between heterosexual and gay/lesbian couples, including the right to have insemination at state hospitals for lesbian married couples. The humanist marriage ceremony is strictly secular and identical for every couple irrespective of sexual orientation. The Norwegian churches are also allowed to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, but have so far refused.”

George Broadhead, secretary of the Pink Triangle Trust said: "The PTT, which was set up in 1992, introduced the first humanist "affirmation ceremony" of love and commitment for gay and lesbian couples in the UK as the secular alternative to the gay Christian "blessing", and arranged hundreds of these all over the country prior to the introduction of civil partnership legislation.

"Other countries besides Norway have introduced same-sex marriage legislation and no doubt individual humanist celebrants have conducted marriage ceremonies in these. However, this is the first time such a ceremony has been conducted by a humanist organisation.”

The Oslo ceremony was widely reported in the Norwegian media including the newspaper Aftenpostens.

Further information from George Broadhead on 01926 858450.
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Created : Thursday, 2009-03-05 / Last updated : Friday, 2009-03-13
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