First gay couple wed

Frølich Benjaminsen, and Erik SkjelnæsEidskog church.Kjell Frølich Benjaminsen, and Erik Skjelnæs get married as the first gay couple in a Norwegian Church. .Photo Foto: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB scanpix

At the very same second that the Church’s new marriage liturgy went into force, the first gay couple was married in Eidskog Church.

On Monday, the Church Synod adopted a new liturgy that allows gays and lesbians to marry in the church in the same way as other couples.

The first couple Kjell Frølich Benjaminsen and Erik Skjelnæs, stood in front of the altar in Eidskog Church at 24:00 on Wednesday to take their marriage vows in front of Pastor Bettina Eckbo, who held the historic midnight ceremony.

-This is great fun and very nice to be a part of, says Eckbo to NTB news.

 36 years

The newlywed couple have been living together for 36 years – longer than the Minister herself has been alive.

It represents the values that marriage stands for, faithfulness and being a support for each other in good and bad days, says Eckbo.

The marriage ceremony marks a new milestone in the gays and lesbians history, she maintains.

-In many ways, these two have lived through a lot of the recent gay history. When they got together in 1981, it must have been quite unreal for them to think that they would one day get married in the church, she says.

No time to lose

The prospective couple has previously stated that they have been waiting so long to get married, that they didn’t have a moment to lose. This is why the wedding ceremony took place at midnight on Wednesday, just as the new liturgy went into force.

In addition, the band Valkyrien Allstars, soloist Rigmor Galtung and organist Sigrid Bråthen participated in the ceremony.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today