Finland | Gay Marriage | News

Finland Rejects Marriage Equality Bill

A parliamentary committee in Finland has rejected a proposed marriage equality bill there, Pink News reports:

FinlandThe bill, proposed by the National Coalition Party (NCP) minister Alexander Stubb proposed the bill, which would have made marriage gender-neutral, therefore allowing same-sex couples to marry.

It was rejected 9 votes to 8, and so it will not go before the full legislature for consideration.

The bill would have made regulations relating to marriage equal for all, irrespective of the gender of the partners. In Finland, gay and lesbian couples can currently register their partnerships, but do not automatically take each others’ surnames, or adopt children, reports YLE.

Finland is the only Scandinavian country without marriage equality.

A citizen initiative to legalize same-sex marriage has now begun gathering signatures.

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  1. In parliament less than half has signed the bill so it could go forward. Politicians from conservative parties voted against it at the particular board. One of the conservative parties got huge victory in the election so they have more power. The usual story.
    Now there is citizens' initiative going and we'll see what will happen.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 1, 2013 3:01:07 PM

  2. I really expected better from Finland, what a shame. I don't travel to countries that don't recognize my humanity. Norway will continue to benefit from my tourist dollars; everyone should see it, too beautiful for words.

    Posted by: Kevin Foster | Mar 1, 2013 3:09:35 PM

  3. cross finland off your countries to visit list

    Posted by: candide001 | Mar 1, 2013 3:15:02 PM

  4. Well, just another country that has just earned a big red X on the gay tourist list. Disappointing. Hopefully the citizens initiative goes through.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 1, 2013 3:19:46 PM

  5. surprising since Finland tends more towards Social Democracy (what a southerner might call EBBBBBBIL COMMIES)and liberalism

    Posted by: Moz's | Mar 1, 2013 3:21:15 PM

  6. Finland is and isn't part of Scandinavia. Technically the term, at its core refers to Denmark, Sweden and Norway. However, societal conventions and shared histories and ethnicities often cause Iceland and Finland to be included within the term. Basically, it depends on whom you're talking to...

    Posted by: Gerard | Mar 1, 2013 3:35:07 PM

  7. Finland is not a "scandinavian" country. Scandinavia consists of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The Nordic countries consist of the three scandinavian countries plus Finland and Iceland. There are marked differences between Finland and Scandinavia, and a journalist should be careful to understand this fact.

    Posted by: Janice | Mar 1, 2013 4:01:28 PM

  8. Finland is a part of the Nordic countries with Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The mentality and society in Finland are closest to these countries.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 1, 2013 4:06:07 PM

  9. Janice and Gerard are correct.

    Though often politically considered part of Scandinavia, as parts of Finland were once part of Scandinavian countries, linguistically and ethnically, they are different. Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language group, which is part of the Uralic family, along with languages like Hungarian.

    The Norse languages are Germanic, which are of part of the Indo-European family.

    Posted by: OddBet | Mar 1, 2013 4:12:30 PM

  10. Regardless of whether they're part of Scandanavia or not, socio-culturally they have their own national church, and I wouldn't doubt it probably has more to do with that influence (as usual):

    Posted by: Rexford | Mar 1, 2013 4:28:26 PM

  11. I agree with the others on here - I don't travel to countries that don't give gays equal rights. They don't deserve our tourism dollars, which is a huge part of any countries' economy.

    Posted by: Sergio | Mar 1, 2013 5:29:04 PM

  12. I dated a Finn for 3 years and spent a lot of time in Helsinki and around the country.
    Beautiful place and human rights are closely followed. Women carry high positions and yet gay marriage hasn't happened yet? I am surprised at this fact as the Finns do relate closely with their neighbors from streets in both Swedish and Finnish as well as that Nordic feeling which does not differ much between countries.
    A loss for the folk in Finland not to allow gay marriage.

    Posted by: blonder | Mar 1, 2013 7:55:35 PM

  13. I wasn't going to visit Finland anyway, and I doubt you were either. To all those who won't go to a country that doesn't sanction gay marriage, you live in a country which doesn't sanction gay marriage.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 1, 2013 8:13:54 PM

  14. Oh c'mon Finland, get with the program. 21st-century beckons, no time for hate. All that salt cod has clogged your cerebral arteries.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Mar 1, 2013 9:24:56 PM

  15. Passing on marriage equality is bad and there's no defense or excuse for this. However, Finland does have a civil union type of recognition for gay couples. In addition, the Finnish government is actually extremely liberal in terms of giving full recognition to not only all foreign marriages and other kinds of registered partnerships (both straight and gay), but also to just cohabiting, but unmarried, gay and straight couples. I've been working in Finland for over a year now and I can say that it made a huge difference that I could bring my husband with me (we're US citizens married in one of the states that has marriage equality) with no questions asked by the Finnish government. He was able to get a Finnish residence permit based solely on the fact that Finland recognizes him as a member of my family.

    Today Finland behaved in a lame and dumb fashion, but in judging the place, it's important to know that there's a lot more to Finland than just this decision and it will really be only a matter of time -- most likely a very short time -- until it joins the other Nordic countries in having full marriage equality for all couples.

    Posted by: Suomi | Mar 1, 2013 9:39:54 PM

  16. Don't bad mouth Finland. Urge them along. They are almost there.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 2, 2013 1:12:37 AM

  17. Nicely put as an average Finn, the general attitude on these comments reeks of minority bigotry. The rather marginal differences on "rights" between homosexual and heterosexual couples are so small in Finland that loud complaints on the subject belittle misfortunes *every* person faces. (How many of you have actually read the Finnish legal code on the subject? Thought so.) Rest of us don't live in permanent position where we could victimize themselves.

    Political movement of sexual minorities would do better if they could feel sympathy for others than just themselves and other minorities they have chosen to be human. I feel sympathy for the sexual minorities' cause, but it seems that their Finnish elitist attitude spokesmen (or actually, mostly spokeswomen) make their best me to hate them. They could be a tiny bit less "politically aware" and demeaning to the common folk that don't belong to the "minority class."

    Democracy and freedom of speech are the only footing of any society that can value human and individual rights in the long term. Please respect them. Nobody has guarantees of their rights if these principles are pushed in the waste basket in the name of a "greater good" - any greater good.

    You are free to detest the fact that this was the decision made in Finnish democracy and you can surely boycott the country if you want - but in general, Finland is extraordinarily good and safe country to live for sexual minorities. If you try to classify it as some sort of an evil hell, you are at the same belittling problems in those countries where sexual minorities face real hardships - up to potential loss of life. Usually you don't even hear voice of the minorities from those countries. In contrast in Finland, there are plenty of sexual minorities present in the parliament. Please don't lump countries together like that. It does not benefit anyone involved.

    Posted by: foo | Mar 2, 2013 1:43:25 AM

  18. Since we WERE "swedish" (quite officially) for 600 years, how is it that we are suddenly not scandinavian,..... janice, et al? If we are not scandinavian, then I suppose norway ain't norwegian, since they barely emerged as an entity in their own right about the same time as us.
    As for all you who are not coming to visit us,.... whew! THANK YOU!!

    Posted by: Per Kele | Mar 2, 2013 3:20:27 AM

  19. My ancestry is Finnish though I was born in the USA. I moved permanently to Finland 13 years ago for political reasons and because I no longer felt safe in the USA. I love it here and would NEVER move back to the USA. Being gay is not a big issue in Finland and I am proud of the many out GLTB people in the arts and government. The candidate who lost the Presidential election is gay and has a male spouse. There is a big furor rising because of this recent negative vote. Beginning 19 March, citizens will be able to add their signature to a document which if it receives 50,000 signature in 6 months, automatically must be a part of the Parliament's agenda. Facebook has had over 500,000 positive responses towards this so it is very possible that it will pass. Finland is a lovely country and as an official Finnish tourist guide who is gay, I welcome you to Finland. You will love it! Tervetuloa

    Posted by: saunakarhu | Mar 2, 2013 3:49:40 AM

  20. To a certain type of gay male there are only two perfect places for homosexuals in America:

    NYC [it's so 24/7! NYers NEVER sleep!]
    S.F. [it's this mystical place for many Oz (No! Not Australia)]

    London/Paris [the gay duo! SO sophisticated]

    MAYBE include L.A.

    The only other 'perfect' gay places in the world are in western Europe [especially the 'nordic' countries [SO snowy,cold, and blond!] ... but southern European men are 'hot' so they get a pass even if they're homophobic], Canada [well, at least Toronto and Montreal], Brazil [because the dudes are 'hot' and you can easily get away with with all kinds of behavior you can't in N. America, like sex with under-aged,etc.].

    Pretty much everyplace else is AT BEST second rate. There is NOTHING in 'Flyover' country worth mentioning....well, Chicago, OK...but that's it!] and the south? You jest,yes? Yeah I know, Houston, 4th largest city in America, has an openly lesbian mayor, but still...ewwww!

    My home, Massachusetts,Boston,New England. Well, yeah they do the correct thing, and are gay friendly, but...they just aren't New York, know what I mean. And as we all know Boston [a city 50/50 white/minority] is such a racist place!

    Don't feel too bad Finland, you're in pretty good company.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 2, 2013 10:53:08 AM

  21. YES,I know,London and Paris are in the UK and Europe. Sorry fellow homos.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 2, 2013 10:54:44 AM

  22. I have to say that treatment of gay and lesbian couples is much better in Finland than in the USA where I moved from. While it is a drag my partner cannot change her name to mine, it is not the end of the world for us. Compared to the USA, people are much more tolerant of my partner and I than ever was the case in America.

    Someday, it will change for the better here in Finland, but for now, we are happier back here in Finalnd.

    Posted by: Katariina | Mar 2, 2013 11:01:43 AM

  23. I have to say that treatment of gay and lesbian couples is much better in Finland than in the USA where I moved from. While it is a drag my partner cannot change her name to mine, it is not the end of the world for us. Compared to the USA, people are much more tolerant of my partner and I than ever was the case in America.

    Someday, it will change for the better here in Finland, but for now, we are happier back here in Finland.

    Posted by: Katariina | Mar 2, 2013 11:01:47 AM

  24. @Katarina,

    I see many gay couples in my states, many lesbian couples, including those showing PDA [public displays of affection], and I myself am gay and have a BF. 99% of people don't care, don't harass. I witness more attitude from gays than from non-gays. The U.S. is a huge country,very diverse, it's hard to compare it to a place like Finland.

    I can't speak for Finland but do know a lot about Sweden and Swedish culture because a BF I had for 3 years is Swedish-American from Washington State. Swedish culture traditionally values getting along to go along, and you mind your own business and keep to yourself. Swedish people can be VERY reserved [until they drink]. They may 'tolerate' things [on the surface] but there's plenty of tension below the surface, it just usually stays below the surface, bubbles up occasionally, like when people get drunk.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 2, 2013 11:19:16 AM

  25. Good to hear! I don't want to walk around Kamppi and see gay couples walking around the place. Glad to live in a place where standards matter.

    Posted by: Helsinkite | Mar 2, 2013 12:34:49 PM

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