Finland | Gay Marriage | News

Petitioners in Finland Force Parliament Consideration of Marriage Equality Bill

A parliamentary committee in Finland, the only Scandinavian country without same-sex marriage, rejected a marriage equality bill earlier this month.

FinlandThe people won't have it:

A drive to gather the 50,000 signatories required to take a gender-neutral marriage bill to parliament reached its target in just one day. The accumulation of the required support means that lawmakers must now consider a bill which was previously blocked at the committee stage.

Members of the public rushed to support the “I Do 2013” campaign, which was launched Tuesday to gather the 50,000 signatures required to compel parliament to consider legalising same-sex marriages.

Public enthusiasm for the petition was so great that the civic proposal website crashed as a result of the overwhelming demand.

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  1. This is how it's done: take it right to the bastards.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 19, 2013 12:56:59 PM

  2. Within few hours it has got almost 77 000 names so it will continue to the parliament. It reached 50k withing few hours. Very happy.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 19, 2013 1:06:15 PM

  3. Now at 80.000 signatures. Also, Finland is not part of Scandinavia. It is the only *Nordic* country without same sex marriage.

    Posted by: J-Ko | Mar 19, 2013 1:08:12 PM

  4. Being half-Swedish I feel really proud of how Scandinavia as a whole has been so progressive and accepting of equal marriage.

    And J-Ko, I'm pretty sure Finland IS part of Scandinavia

    Posted by: danswon | Mar 19, 2013 1:11:32 PM

  5. Finland has a large semi-autonomous Swedish population so it's at least honorarily Scandinavia.

    But whatever. This is a great story!

    Posted by: Glenn I | Mar 19, 2013 1:19:01 PM

  6. I fully realize that this is just hair-splitting, but Scandinavia is a geographical term that does not include, say, Finland, Iceland or the Faroe islands. The correct term when referring to that whole bunch of cold, socialist, descendants of Vikings is Nordic countries.

    Anyway, I am very happy that Finland is on this path as well.

    Posted by: J-Ko | Mar 19, 2013 1:22:31 PM

  7. Finland is not part of Scandinavia.
    Scandinavia = Norway, Denmark, Sweden

    Nordic Countries = All the Scandinavian countries + Finland + Iceland + Faroe Islands

    Posted by: unruly | Mar 19, 2013 1:39:14 PM

  8. Scandinavia is only Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. + Finland + Iceland = Nordic.

    So Finland is the only *Nordic nation without marriage equality.

    But 'kiitos' for the coverage.

    Posted by: JO | Mar 19, 2013 1:40:34 PM

  9. J-Ko, you cited Wikipedia, and lost all credibility.

    Posted by: Lucas | Mar 19, 2013 1:48:09 PM

  10. Comments here have missed a very important point to this welcome development: Finland borders Russia, where homophobia as a political issue has gained a lot of traction in the past two years. In fact, parts of Finland used to be considered part of Russia, at least by the Russians. The Finns, to their credit, have fought them off several times in their quest for independence. A popular move toward marriage equality on Russia's doorstep will highlight just how far out of step Russia is getting in their push to criminalize anything gay, including even talking about it.

    Posted by: RWG | Mar 19, 2013 2:15:07 PM

  11. Greenland also lacks marriage equality. Though part of the Crown of Denmark, they are autonomous, and currently only have registered partnerships.

    So I guess there's really no "Finland is the only x not to have gay marriage" statements to be made.

    And Lucas, if you can manage to swallow your hatred of Wikipedia for a moment and follow the citation, you will see that according to Merriam Webster, "Scandinavia" applies only to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. As I've said before, the Finns belong to an entirely different linguistic family.

    Posted by: OddBet | Mar 19, 2013 2:29:35 PM

  12. 100 000 signatures in a one day. I am one proud Finn.

    Posted by: Boris | Mar 19, 2013 4:24:37 PM

  13. I am soo happy! I really hope the bill proceeds now :D

    Posted by: calcifer | Mar 19, 2013 4:34:47 PM

  14. RWG: we here at Finland don't really care about Russia, since we've learned not to trust them. Russia is a crazy and corrupt country and their gay rights issues are just part of the bigger problems they have there. I mean we can't ignore them, but well, Russia is a dangerous country.

    Finland has been part of both Sweden and Russia at some point during the last few hundred years. Mentally we are part of the other Nordic countries, and most Finns don't feel any connection to Russia. It's true that our language is part of the Finno-Ugric languages (Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian are the biggest languages of it), and we feel certain closeness to Estonia, which is partly because during the Soviet Union regime most of the Estonians learnt Finnish by watching our TV channels that were broadcasted over the Gulf of Finland and which were their main gateway to the west.

    Our gay rights are probably bit behind of Sweden and Denmark, but we are getting there. We of course do have the registered partnership between same sex couples already, but having equal marriage rights would be great. There are lot of conservatives here in Finland, but I'd like to think that because equality is important to us in many ways then equality between gays and straights matters to most people as well.

    Posted by: kode | Mar 19, 2013 5:51:05 PM

  15. Kode-

    Thanks for the explanation about Finland. It's always good to get an inside perspective on things once in a while. It looks like Finland is moving towards full equality, so that's good!

    Posted by: | Mar 19, 2013 6:05:01 PM

  16. Where do you find the up to the minute tally of petition signers?

    Posted by: Jake | Mar 19, 2013 6:09:53 PM

  17. You can see the petition here, although I have no idea whether people abroad can see it:

    Posted by: kode | Mar 19, 2013 8:27:36 PM

  18. 106 523 as of 9:40pm Atlantic time

    Posted by: Lukefromcanada | Mar 19, 2013 8:41:10 PM

  19. That's great news from Finland. That deserves a toast with Finlandia Vodka.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 19, 2013 10:17:42 PM

  20. First I was like what, what's so big in 50 000 people. Then I remembered that Finland has only 5,2 million people living in there, so ok, 100k is huge thing !! It's same as over 6 million people would have voted this in usa, in just one day. Keep up the good work!

    Posted by: proto | Mar 20, 2013 1:17:52 AM

  21. Curious as to why the article has a highlighted map of Sweden instead of Finland (upper right of Sweden)?

    Posted by: WoodyR | Mar 20, 2013 6:50:55 AM

  22. WoodyR, are we looking at the same image? The image I see has Finland highlighted and in the center of the image.

    At the moment there are 116 076 names in the petition, which is great for just one day of collecting the names.

    Posted by: kode | Mar 20, 2013 7:12:22 AM

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