The news that the established church in Denmark, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, is now required by law to conduct same-sex marriage services is ominous for the Church of England. If UK government plans to redefine marriage in law come to fruition in England and Wales, a Danish model imposed on the national Church would seem an inevitable outcome.
However, there is a significant difference between the status of Danish clergy and their Church of England counterparts.
According to the website of the Lutheran Church of Denmark, its pastors are employed by the government's Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs.
Their status as government employees thus makes them uniquely vulnerable to a legalised same-sex marriage regime. By God's grace, British clergy in the established churches - the Church of England and the Church of Scotland - are not on the government pay-roll. So, the application of the Danish same-sex marriage regime to the British national churches is not as straightforward as might appear.
The news from Denmark still raises disturbing issues for religious liberty and freedom of conscience in a fellow EU country. Under the Danish law, a Lutheran minister may refuse to conduct a same-sex marriage ceremony but his or her local bishop is obliged to arrange a replacement to take the service.
As Archbishop Cranmer in his excellent post on the Danish development points out, the law assumes that the bishop will have no conscientious difficulty over same-sex marriage. But what would happen if he or she did? A jail sentence? A fine?
Furthermore, what happens if the members of the local Lutheran church required to host the ceremony object? Will they be allowed the right of peaceful protest outside the church building?
One could imagine the UK Public Order Act being used to prevent parishioners from protesting if same-sex marriage were introduced here and the Danish model were imposed on the established churches of Britain.
Some Church of England bishops would have no difficulty in arranging liberal replacements for Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic clergy refusing to conduct gay marriages. But other bishops certainly would have a problem.
Under such a regime, faithful servants of Jesus Christ in the Church of England would need to brace themselves to pay the cost of conscience. Some clergy might consider the UK too hostile a place for Christian ministry. They might choose to shake the dust off their feet and preach the gospel elsewhere.
It would indeed be ironic if we saw Church of England ministers seeking asylum in the former Eastern Bloc countries, which are significantly less enthusiastic about gay marriage than the politically correct establishment of the UK.
A version of this piece appeared on Heresy Corner.