Swedish high court: no recognition of Canadian same-sex marriage; legislative reform expected next year

by on December 16, 2008  •  In Marriage


Sweden’s highest court ruled Tuesday that a same-sex couple married in Canada are not married but in a civil union, for purposes of Swedish law. The Supreme Administrative Court said that Sweden does not recognize same-sex marriage, and therefore the couple cannot pay income tax at the lower rate allowed for married couples. Lars Gardfeldt and Lars Arnell had argued that since their marriage was legal in Canada, it should be recognized in Sweden.

Last month, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry is on track and should become law by next May.  Sweden allows civil partnerships. 

A parliamentary committee studying the issue last year called civil partnerships outdated and recommended Parliament allow same-sex marriage. Six of Sweden’s seven political parties support the legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry either in civil or church ceremonies, leaving only the small Christian Democratic Party opposing the measure.


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