"Sweden became the seventh country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide after a six-hour debate on Wednesday among parliament members.
Gender-neutral marriage licenses will begin to be issued starting May 1, replacing a civil union option that has been offered since 1995. Religious institutions will not be compelled to perform ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples. A majority of bishops in the Church of Sweden said that churches should not be allowed the task of handling legal registrations of marriages."
Sweden joins The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa as countries that allow marriage for same-sex couples.