Can pair Weiss in one go

The Reformed in Zug could imagine weddings of same-sex couples

The Reformed in Zug could imagine weddings of same-sex couples

Marriage for everyone is hotly debated nationally among the Reformed - most of the Zug churches are open.

In Switzerland, only couples who have already married civilly can be married in church. That means: Even if the churches wanted to, they shouldn't trust gays and lesbians at the moment - because homosexual couples are not allowed to marry civilly in Switzerland (see box). Instead, certain churches offer so-called blessing celebrations, which are similar to weddings.

Especially among the Reformed, the so-called marriage for all is currently a lively discussion. In mid-August, the highest reformist in Switzerland, Gottfried Locher, spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage. Locher is President of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (SEK). In June, the SEK dealt internally with the question of marriage for all. The final report of the working group showed that the Reformed are divided. Among other things, it reads: "The question has the potential to burden and damage our church fellowship in the long term." On Thursday, August 29th, the SEK announced its decision: In its meeting it decided to advocate the opening of marriage to same-sex couples at the civil law level.

"Intercession and blessings are not gender-dependent"

How does the Reformed Church of the Canton Zug feel about marriage for everyone? When asked, representatives say that the parish council's own parish convention has criticized the “discouragement” and “vagueness” of the above-mentioned report of the SEC Council in an internal statement. "We'll wait for the new paper and then we'll deal with it in detail." The Reformed in Zug write in their statement that they have not yet worked out a position on marriage for everyone.

However, the representatives are open to blessing celebrations for homosexuals: There are also such celebrations in Zug - "of course." However, this rarely happens: every three to four years since the 1990s. If same-sex couples were allowed to marry civilly in Switzerland, the Reformed in Zug would even be open to church weddings. The representatives explain: “A wedding service is intercession and a blessing for the couple, in the hope that they can shape the journey together well. Basically, intercession and blessings are not gender-dependent. "

Legal Commission wants marriage for everyone

Same-sex couples are not allowed to marry in Switzerland. Currently, homosexual couples have the option of a registered partnership. However, this is not associated with the same rights and obligations. Compared to marriage, for example, it does not allow for easier naturalization. In addition, there is no right to jointly adopt children in registered partnerships.

This shall be changed now. In February, according to a report in the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, the legal commission of the National Council clearly voted 19 to 4 with one abstention for a law that would make marriage possible for everyone. The question of sperm donation for lesbian women was excluded. This is because the commission feared unequal treatment between lesbian and gay couples. It will take several years before the legislative proposal has passed the councils and possibly a referendum.

Conservative circles are fighting back

Conservative circles like the Swiss Evangelical Alliance oppose opening up marriage. In a June statement, Allianz wrote that marriage was against the best interests of the child for all. The alliance also has members in Zug. These, on the other hand, are still undecided and cautious, such as the Christian Meeting Point Zug-Baar Free Church. It has about 130 members. Pastor Daniel Bishop says: "I have gay-feeling friends and also gay-feeling people in the service." Marriage for everyone is currently not being discussed in his church - the topic is too emotionally charged. It will also be discussed at a meeting of an association of free churches next year.

He has not yet received any requests from same-sex couples for a blessing. The Evangelical Free Church of Zug is also a member of the alliance. Your pastor, Christoph Candrian, took up office only two weeks ago. What does he say about marriage for everyone? «We assume that God's love applies to all people. We therefore welcome all people without reservation. " But: Basically, one wants to support the marriage of man and woman. So far, he has not had any requests for the blessing of same-sex couples. "As soon as there is one, we first seek a conversation and then decide how to deal with it in the specific situation." There are around 200 adults in his community.

The diocese of Basel is open

And what is the position of the Catholic Church in Zug? Markus Burri, general manager of the departments and member of the conference of the leaders of the pastoral rooms, says that you don't have your own decision-making authority and that you adhere to the guidelines of the diocese of Basel. “Basically, however, I am convinced that nothing speaks against blessing people on their own path in life. However, I don't know what the practice looks like with individual pastors. " He also means blessings for same-sex couples.

The diocese of Basel supports the efforts of the Legal Commission of the National Council to introduce marriage for everyone. Hansruedi Huber, responsible for communications at the diocese, says: “We welcome the proposed regulations that give homosexual partnerships stable and reliable legal protection. It is important to us that children who grow up in same-sex partnerships are given a legal framework that serves the best interests of the child. " And how does the diocese assess blessing celebrations? "These must differ in content and form from the church wedding."

How big this difference should be is apparently not clearly regulated. When a pastor in Uri blessed a lesbian couple in 2014 - with rings and witnesses - he was asked to resign by the then Chur bishop. Church council and large parts of the parish supported the pastor without reservation. After the pastor promised the bishop that he would refrain from such blessings, he was able to keep his post.