Outrage in Denmark After Priest Refuses to Bury Lesbian

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com May 16 2012 5:22 PM ET

A Danish priest says he erred when he refused to bury an elderly woman after discovering she was gay.

The deceased's daughter was infuriated, saying the priest refused the funeral in front of her mother's octagenarian partner. The older women had been together for decades, and in a domestic partnership for nearly 30 years.

"I thought, can it really be true that we should be ashamed of it?," the deceased woman's daughter, Kirsten Østergaard, told homotropolis.com. "I looked at my mother's life partner and she was completely silent — and then I became really upset on her behalf. It's a terrible situation to put her in."

After Østergaard complained, the priest apologized, though many people in the liberal Scandinavian nation remain outraged, while a professor called the priest's actions "unlawful."