As part of new rules on citizenship which came into effect on January 1st, participants at citizenship ceremonies are required to shake hands with their mayor or local official.
The new ceremony was provided for by a citizenship bill agreed last year by the previous government and the Danish People’s Party. It was seen by critics as targeting Muslims who, for religious reasons, do not shake hands with members of the opposite sex.
It was also linked to a significant increase in the cost of the citizen application process.
The Social Democrats abstained from the 2018 vote which passed the handshake law, saying shaking hands is a natural gesture and does not require legislation.
But Social Democrat mayors now want the law to be rolled back, broadcaster DR reports.
The local authority leaders are therefore appealing to party colleague Mathias Tesfaye, the minister for immigration and integration, to act.
Holger Schou Rasmussen, a municipal mayor on the island of Lolland, called the law “symbolic” and “a slippery slope”.
“It is very un-Danish and I simply dislike it. It does not represent open or free thought. The law should be scrapped because it is only about targeting cultural minorities who would like to be Danish citizens,” Rasmussen told DR.
Since taking over from Inger Støjberg as immigration minister, Tesfaye has not taken a firm stance on whether the law will be retained or discontinued by the new government.
He has previously said that he wants to attend ceremonies himself in order to observe the law in practice.