On October 22nd, the Church of Sweden (which counts around 73 % of the population as members) now recognizes homosexual marriage, legally authorized in the country since May 1st. This decision by the Bishops' Synod --which also approved a special liturgy-- comes after several years of debate, writes Dagens Nyheter*. From 1 November, pastors wishing to do so, can celebrate the wedding of two people of the same sex in their church, and it will considered a civil union. "In Swedish society, traditions are relatively unimportant. What matters is acting for people's welfare", said Archbishop Anders Wejryd to the newspaper. On the same day, Germany's High Court established that gays with a registered civil union could not be treated differently to married couples. This shortly after it forced a company to pay retirement benefit to a homosexual couple. A decision, which* according to theSüddeutsche Zeitung, "could change our society in a fundamental way".**