John M. Becker

Finland's President Signs Marriage Equality Bill

Filed By John M. Becker | February 20, 2015 12:00 PM | comments

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

finland1.pngIt's official: this morning, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö signed the country's gender-neutral marriage bill, which was passed by Parliament in last year, into law.

Yleisradio reports:

The signing was an historic occasion also in respect to the fact that this will be the first piece of legislation brought to Parliament as a citizens' initiative and approved as the law of the land.

Now that the law has been confirmed by the President, the Justice Ministry will begin the job of revising other national legislation to bring it into line with the concept of gender-neutral marriage. According to officials, various family social and health entitlements will have to be examined and revised, as will the law on the legal status of registered same-sex couples. Revisions are to be submitted to Parliament this coming autumn.

Parliament passed the final changes to marriage law to allow same-sex marriage in December. The legislation was based on a citizens' initiative petition signed by 167,000 voters.

When the law takes effect on March 1, 2017, the entire Nordic region -- Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) will have the freedom to marry. Marriage equality enjoys the support of a strong majority of the Finnish public.

Congratulations, Finland, and welcome to the right side of history!

If you'd like to celebrate by playing the Finnish national anthem (as a geography geek, I do this every time a new country joins the list of freedom-to-marry nations), I've embedded it after the break.

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