Swiss church synod allows gay marriage


Central Europe


Photo AFP, Javier Torres

The Synod of the Reformed Church of the Canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland (EREN) has decided to open up to the nuptial blessing for same-sex couples.

Postponed for many years, for fear of creating irreversible divisions within the Evangelical Reformed Church of Neuchâtel, the delegates agreed by a large majority to set up a think tank that will get to work to define the marriage blessing in this new context. This was reported by Reformed news site Réformés. The decision comes after a referendum held on September 26th, in which the Swiss voted in favour of opening civil marriage for same-sex couples.

An information report will be presented to the next Synod in June. A liturgy booklet for the nuptial blessing will be drawn up and presented at the December Synod.

The freedom of conscience for pastors to not perform a blessing of same-sex couples remains guaranteed by the EREN. It was, however, underlined that it is fundamental to relay the request to avoid any form of discrimination.

According to the news website Evangeliques.info, the Swiss evangelical network RES-SEA, affiliated with the World Evangelical Alliance, is opposed to these celebrations. This network brings together 11 Christian denominations and 200 evangelical churches in French-speaking Switzerland .

The French-speaking Federation of Evangelical Churches, of which EREN is part of, has chosen not to take a position.



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