Gay Couple Sues Swedish Government For
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: May 12, 2008 - 3:00 pm ET
(Stockholm) A gay couple married in Canada has
filed suit against the Swedish government for refusing to recognize the
Lars Gardfeldt and Lars Arnell say that Swedish
income tax authority regards they as having only a civil union, while
recognizing the foreign marriages of opposite-sex couples.
The federal court agreed to hear the case after
lower courts rejected the couple's case.
If the couple is successful Gardfeldt and Arnell
would become the first legally married gay couple in Sweden.
Sweden allows civil partnerships. Under a law
enacted in 1995 same-sex couples haves most of the rights and obligations of
marriage to gay and lesbian couples who register. But it did not provide for
adoption of IVF.
In 2003 the law was amended to allow registered
partners to adopt children and since 2006 women in registered partnerships have
been allowed to receive in vitro fertalization.
A parliamentary committee studying the issue has
called civil partnerships outdated and recommended Parliament allow same-sex
Six of Sweden's seven political parties support
the legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry, leaving only the
small Christian Democratic Party opposing the measure.
Although tiny in numbers the Christian Democrats
form part of a four party coalition government and the party has been successful
in thwarting government attempts to bring in a gay marriage bill.
In January a public opinion poll found that
70-percent of the electorate support the principal of same-sex marriage.
Last year the powerful Church of Sweden voiced
its approval for gender neutral church weddings but said its liturgy would call
them partnerships and reserve in the word marriage for opposite-sex marriages.
The denomination describes itself as Evangelical
Lutheran and its membership includes about 75 percent of Sweden's population.