Finland Parliamentary Committee Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Finland’s Parliament has defeated a measure that would have legalized ‘gender-neutral marriage’ making it possible for same-sex couples to wed in the Scandinavian nation, YLE reports

FinlandAfter a lengthy campaign, the latest bid to legislate for same-sex marriage has foundered once again at the Finnish Parliaments's Legal Affairs committee. The committee, which also rejected a previous bill on the issue, voted 10-6 to push the law back to the whole legislature. Three of the four National Coalition Party MPs on the committee voted against the bill.

The bill will now be considered by a full sitting of parliament in the autumn. 

Finland’s Parliament previously considered a marriage equality bill in 2013 but ultimately rejected it in March of that year. The current measure, a citizen’s initiative, was formed in response to that defeat. The initiative gathered more than 166,00 signatures (as of 2012, Finland had a population of approximately 5.4 million according to The World Bank).

Finland remains the only Nordic country where same-sex marriage is not legal. 


  1. EchtKultig says

    It’s not Scandinavia and that’s part of the problem. Finns, like the linguistically related Hungarians, have a somewhat insular culture, and to some degree straddle the line between Western and Eastern European worldviews.

  2. Sergio says

    “Finns, like the linguistically related Hungarians, have a somewhat insular culture…”

    Just because both the Finns and the Hungarians speak Uralic languages does not mean that they share strong cultural ties. There’s no cultural profile inherent to speakers across a language family. (How similar are the Welsh, the Bangladeshis, and the Albanians? All three speak Indo-European languages.)

    The Finns, language notwithstanding, have much more in common with the Swedes. That’s why this development is so disappointing.

  3. EchtKultig says

    You didn’t read closely. I said they “have a somewhat insular culture”, not “share a somewhat insular culture”. Finnish culture has an undeniably eastern Baltic and Russian influence. As for the Hungarians, believe me, I’ve read an entire autobiography of a Hungarian. They definitely don’t define themselves as Eastern European, and certainly not Slavic…yet they are aware they are not western European, either. And “central European” will always be a culturally fugitive construction, especially in light of recent events.

  4. Mike in the Tundra says

    My husband’s family is Finnish, and they will tell anyone who listens that they are not Scandinavian. Next they will tell you that they are Nordic. Of course, next they will tell you that they are Laplanders, and separated somehow from the rest of Finland.

    They do share many customs with Sweden, but that may well be because they were under Swedish rule for several centuries. My mother-in-law served many Finnish dishes which were very much like Swedish dishes.

    I know little about their Language, except I’ve had it muttered at me on many occasions. I then began muttering Spanglish at them.

  5. Matt27 says

    It’s a mess. In short: conservative members of the committee rejected it for various reasons. It’s not over yet, it goes to parliament in the autumn and they vote, it will be a tough voting. We’ll see. I am disappointed, especially because two members weren’t there to vote and their substitutes voted against it. Finland also has new very liberal PM (Alexander Stubb, who is very good ally for lgbt) and members of his party in the committee are conservatives and voted against it.

    It’s a mess, but the story isn’t over yet. Let’s hope for the best.

  6. Merv says

    Finland is kind of a Scandinavian country just by virtue of the fact that Swedish is one of the official languages, with Swedish speakers making up over 5% of the population.

  7. danswon says

    Finland is not part of Scandinavia. Scandinavia is only Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. That’s it. All the others are ‘Nordic countries’.
    Finland will come round, it’ll just take a little bit longer. My mum is Swedish and I have a Finnish aunt. The difference in cultures is fairly striking. Basically, the Finns are a a cross-between Swedes and Russians, which is obvious when you think of where the country is situated.

  8. Sergio says

    I read it. You said that the Finns were “like the linguistically related Hungarians, [who] have a somewhat insular culture”. Anyone who knows both Finns and Hungarians, though, will tell you that they are more dissimilar than not. The Finns might not want to be associated with the Swedes, but they fit far better into that Nordic model than do the Hungarians.

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