Author Topic: Finland to legalize same-sex marriage  (Read 587 times)

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Finland to legalize same-sex marriage
« on: November 29, 2014, 08:07:13 AM »
This won't affect you non-Finns, but I think it's great news:
(Reuters) - The Finnish Parliament on Friday narrowly approved a citizen's initiative to legalize same-sex marriage.

Gay couples in Finland have been able to enter into registered partnerships since 2002, but until now the country was the only one in the Nordic region to not allow same-sex marriage. Finland is now the 12th European state to do so.

In the vote, 105 members of parliament supported the legal amendment while 92 opposed it.

The measure will end the distinction in Finland between same-sex unions and heterosexual marriages and give such couples equal rights to adopt children and share a surname.

"Finland should strive to become a society where discrimination does not exist, human rights are respected and two adults can marry regardless of their sexual orientation," center-right Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said in an open letter before the vote.

Most opponents argued that all children should have the right to a father and mother. "This is a question of the future of our children and the whole society, and such changes should not be made without thorough evaluation of their impact," Mika Niikko of the nationalist Finns party said before the vote.
The next step is that a legal committee will vote whether or not it approves the change of law before it goes back to Parliament for a final vote - it's very unlikely that the results will change, though. Then some laws need to be changed, which means that gay couples won't be able to get married until 2016 at earliest (the biggest newspaper in Finland lists March 1st, 2017 as the probable date).

I'm happy with the results, because I feel this is a matter of human rights and equality. It's also a victory for civic activism, as this is the first time that a citizens' intiative has received the lawmakers' blessing in Finland: there was a campaign called Tahdon2013 ("I Do" 2013) that gathered over 160,000 names backing the initiative (50,000 is needed for the initiative to be submitted to Parliament).

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Re: Finland to legalize same-sex marriage
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2014, 06:57:27 PM »
Props to them. Hopefully more European countries will follow suit.