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Gay Swedish MP in anti-gay attack

Sat 15 Dec 2007 In: International News View at Wayback

Gay Swedish MP Fredrick Federley was the victim of a homophobic attack last weekend. The Centre Party MP Swedish MP Fredrick Federley was out in Stockholm with friends on Saturday night when they were approached by a group of six young men who taunted the them with homophobic remarks, calling them "disgusting" and "fags," claiming they were a "threat to Sweden." Despite telling them they had no intention of fighting, Federley was punched several times by one of the men, reports Another in the group managed to control the attacker. Federley was left shaken and bruised but was back to his parliamentary duties on Monday. Despite being known as a country very tolerant towards homosexuality, the politician said several friends had been the victims of similar attacks. This comes as Sweden's Lutheran Church said on Wednesday that it was in favour of allowing same-sex couples to wed in church, with the condition that the term "marriage" be reserved for heterosexual unions. The church, of which 75% of the country's 9.1 million population belong to, had been consulted by the government in preparation of its new "gender neutral" marriage law for 2008. "Marriage and (same-sex) partnerships are equivalent forms of unions. Therefore the Church of Sweden's central board says yes to the proposal to join the legislation for marriages and partnerships into a single law," the Church said in a statement. "According to the Church of Sweden's board the word 'marriage' should however only be used for the relationship between a woman and a man," it said. Since 1995, Sweden has allowed gays and lesbians the right to civil unions, granting them the same legal status as married couples. Though the Lutheran Church - the country's state church until 2000 - offers gay couples a religious blessing of their union, they cannot currently be "married" in the church. But their has been mounting pressure in Sweden to overturn the country's 1987 law which states marriage is between a man and a woman. If it goes ahead, the law would make Sweden the first country to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in a major church.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Saturday, 15th December 2007 - 5:57pm

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