A Norwegian Lutheran missionary organization had asked Norwegian singer Solveig Slettahjell to perform at its annual meeting this year, but dumped her after learning Slettahjell was among artists supporting gay marriage in the Norwegian church.
Newspaper Dagen reported that Slettahjell had joined other performers such as Bjørn Eidsvåg, Ingrid Olava, Sigvart Dagsland and Karoline Krüger in producing a new CD aimed at supporting Åpen folkekirke, an open people’s church that would perform weddings between people of the same sex.
The missionary group (Norsk Luthersk Misjonssamband) then decided that it no longer wanted Slettalhjell to perform for them. “We believe that the Christian church must clearly maintain that marriage is an arrangement between a man and a woman, and then it’s difficult to promote an artist who supports a completely different position,” the group’s secretary general, Øyvind Åsland, told Dagen.
Slettahjell said she was sorry she was no longer welcome. “I believe homosexuals should be able to marry in church, and therefore it was natural for me to support the open church,” she said.
The issue emerged just as Norway, and especially Oslo, launches its annual Gay Pride Week that began with a reception featuring prominent local homosexuals and culminates in a major parade next weekend.