Inadvertently Create Judicial Headache

Norway’s Lutherans Lift Gay Clergy Lover Ban

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Norway’s massive Lutheran church may have just stepped into a judicial mess of Biblical proportions. The Lutheran synod voted 50-34 to lift a 1997 ban on relationship-oriented queer clergy. Great, right? Of course, except for the fact that not all of the Norwegian bishops have to abide by the new rule:

Norway’s state Lutheran church on Friday lifted an outright ban on allowing those living in homosexual partnerships to serve in the clergy, but will leave it up to each bishop to make individual decisions on whether to employ them.

Varying practices in 11 bishops’ districts could trigger lawsuits on whether different employment practices in the same organization violate anti-discrimination and labor laws.

“This is food for the Supreme Count [sic],” said synod delegate Hans Petter Jahre, a special legal adviser to the national prosecutor.

Gay lutheran Arne Groenningsaeter certainly didn’t mind the constitutional conundrum, telling the press, “Finally, I can get rid of the feeling of having a B-team membership in the church!” You sure are, Arne, you sure are…