Swedish authorities on Tuesday began drafting legislation to stop same-sex marriages in the Scandinavian country, a move that has sparked a backlash from religious groups.
In a report, The Local newspaper said authorities were seeking to implement a “no marriage” law by next month.
“A law of no marriage, if passed, will mean that no Swedish family can ever again be burdened by a single child who is gay or lesbian, or whose parents have a problem with the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child,” the newspaper said.
“This law will also include a ban on homosexual relationships, the practice of same-gender sexual relations, and the practice for unmarried people of being a foster parent, foster parent or carer.”
According to the newspaper, the new legislation could affect as many as 1.4 million people, including many religious organizations that support same-soulthing practices.
Sweden’s Justice Minister Anders Ygeman told the newspaper that he was “delighted” to see the government move forward on such a law.
“I’m happy to see this law is being drafted,” he said.
“We are not the only ones who are ready for a law like this.
We are not alone.””
A ban on marriage is a step in the right direction,” the minister added.
“It is a real, tangible step forward.
It will also stop some of the damage caused by the past, including in the case of the so-called ‘no marriage’ law.””
It is also important that we don’t ignore the rights of those who have been married to their partner of many years, as well as those who are not.”
Sweden, one of the most liberal countries in the world, has the highest rate of same sex marriages in Europe.
The move has also prompted outrage from some religious groups in the country.
In May, an atheist group protested outside the home of a Christian minister in a small town in the northern town of Västerås, where the minister works.
Swedish media reports say some of those protesting said the minister was “unable to defend the faith of the people”.
The minister has not commented on the controversy.