Denmark is the latest European nation to announce plans to introduce gay marriage, with same-sex couples to be allowed to marry on Church of Denmark premises.

The Danish coalition Government’s church minister, Manu Sareen, told local newspaper Jyllands-Posten that gay men and women will soon be able to marry when legislation is introduced early next year.

“I look forward to the moment the first homosexual couple steps out of the church. I’ll be standing out there throwing rice,” he said.

“I have many friends who are homosexuals and can’t get married. They love their partners the same way heterosexuals do, but they don’t have the right to live it out in the same way. That’s really problematic.”

Denmark was the first country in the world to allow gay civil partnerships with legislation in 1989. Public polls suggest around 69-percent of the population supports same-sex marriage according, The Copenhagen Post reports.

The first same-sex weddings could take place as early as March, 2012 after the legislation is passed.

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