Rotten In Denmark: Priest Denies Lesbian Burial, Minister Says Gays Like Killer Slugs

The Danish government is planning on legalizing same-sex marriage come June 15, but at least two people haven’t gotten the memo that their country is embracing equality: A priest in Aalborg just ate some crow after refusing to bury a lesbian, while a former integration minister is under fire for rejecting marriage equality with an odd comparison to slugs.

According to Homotropolis, a priest in the Church of Denmark refused to bury a 74-year-old woman earlier this month because she had been in a same-sex relationship for 30 years.

“I thought, can it really be true that we should be ashamed of it?” said Kirsten Østergaard, the daughter of the deceased. “I looked at my mother’s life partner and she was completely silent… It’s a terrible situation to put her in.”

The elder Østergaard’s partner is 80 years old.

Fortunately, after Kirsten and her family complained, the holy man did a complete 180:

“It was a mistake on my part, the biggest mistake I have ever made as a priest. It was a blunder and a mental short circuit that goes against everything I stand for.

At first I had agreed to carry out the funeral, but then it crossed my mind that it would be wrong to conduct funerals of gay people when I do not want to marry gay people. But it was completely wrong of me.”

George Hinge of LGBT Denmark calls the priest’s actions “illegal and obscene” and it’s hard to disagree. A mental short circuit is when you forget what month it is, not when you go against everything you supposedly believe in.

The Bishop of Aalborg has since asked the unnamed clergyman for a written explanation. Maybe he should be asking for his collar instead.

Elsewhere, the topic of gay people getting married led former church minister Birthe Rønn Hornbech to remark that “apart from the killer slug and a few other species, the world consists of males and females—and that is why the world still exists.”

The killer, or Spanish slug (arion vulgaris) is hermaphroditic. It’s considered a blight because a single slug can lead to an infestation.

Hornbech’s statement was met with outrage by gay Danish culture minister Uffe Elbæk and other influential politicians in Copenhagen: “Thank you for reminding us of the scary amount of homophobia that exists just beneath the nice polished Danish surface,” Klaus Bondam, former employment and integration minister, wrote on Elbæk’s Facebook post about the incident.

In 2010, Hornbech was criticized and eventually sacked when it was discovered that Palestinians had been illegally denied Danish citizenship with her knowledge.

The ex-minister told the Danish newspaper BT on Wednesday, “What I said yesterday was a description of reality.”

Source: Homotropolis. Photos: Håkan Svensson, Tomasz Sienicki