John M. Becker

Parliament of Finland Debates Marriage Equality Today

Filed By John M. Becker | February 20, 2014 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Finland, gay marriage, marriage equality, relationship recognition, same-sex marriage

finland1.pngToday, in the Nordic country of Finland, the issue of marriage equality is back in front of parliament -- by popular demand.

Under Finnish law, citizens can compel parliament to consider a bill by mounting a "citizen's initiative," which requires them to collect 50,000 signatures in six months.

After a disappointing March 2013 vote where a marriage equality bill died in committee, LGBT advocates launched the "I Do 2013" campaign to gather the required number of signatures and put the issue back in front of lawmakers.

They met their goal in just one day. In fact, the demand from the public was so overwhelming that the website where citizens could sign the petition crashed. The morning after the petition launched, more than 107,000 adult Finns had signed on to the initiative, and the final tally was 166,000.

Gay Star News reports that the petition will be discussed today "at its initial stage" and sent to the Legal Affairs Committee -- the same committee that narrowly rejected marriage equality last year.

Same-sex Finnish couples are currently allowed to enter into registered partnerships that grant them a limited slate of protections, but those fall far short of the rights provided by marriage. The country also lacks adoption equality.

Finland is the only Nordic country that does not allow same-sex couples the freedom to marry. Norway and Sweden passed equal marriage laws in 2009, Iceland in 2010, and Denmark in 2012. A strong majority of the Finnish public, 58%, supports marriage equality.

Here's hoping Finnish officials listen to the will of the people and grant all couples equal marriage rights!

h/t: Joe. My. God.

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