It is now the fourth of a total of 20 regional churches in which homosexuals may be married: The Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz (EKBO) has introduced marriage for same-sex couples.
In the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO), homosexual couples will soon also be able to walk down the aisle. On Saturday, the state synod meeting in Berlin decided to introduce marriage services for same-sex couples. In a secret ballot, 91 church parliamentarians spoke in favor of the new regulation and 10 against it. Four synod members abstained.
Since 2002, the state church, which has about one million members, has offered the possibility of blessing same-sex couples in its own services. In the future, the marriage of homosexual partnerships is to be the rule, similar to the Rhenish Church and the Church of Hesse and Nassau. For a period of five years, however, exceptions are possible for pastors and parish church councils who cannot reconcile this with their conscience.
No one should be excluded
As the provost of the EKBO, Christian Stablein, said on the introduction of the topic in the state synod, it is not a matter of equal marriage services a confessional ie. "People in our church experience factually unfounded distance bans and discrimination," Stablein said. "It must be for the sake of all of us that we change this." There is no reason to exclude people because of their sexual orientation, he said.
In the run-up to the synod, about 20 parishes from Brandenburg had protested against the church parliament's handling of the ie. However, her motions to take the introduction of marriage for same-sex couples off the agenda again were not put on the agenda.