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Tom Of Finland Stamps Break Postal Sales Records - VIDEO

Finland

Stamps designed as a tribute to Finnish homoerotic artist Touko Laaksonen - better known as Tom of Finland -  have become the country’s biggest seller ever, reports YLE UUTISET.

The stamps, which had received pre-orders from 178 different countries, went on sale on Monday and coincided with an exhibition of Tom of Finland’s drawings and letters from the 1940s to his death in 1991.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6dd3742970b-800wiPreorders have proved most popular in Finland, Sweden, the U.K., the United States and France.

Markku Penttinen, the head of development at Finland’s postal service Posti, said:

"We haven't seen this kind of interest before in Posti's history and we probably won't again soon. Our starting point was to get Touko Laaksonen's artwork in our stamps.

"We know that he was very well-known globally. Of course the subject matter is also topical and much discussed. This equation has worked better than we anticipated.”

Despite Finland being the only Nordic country in which same-sex marriage is not legal, Penttinen also suggested that the homoerotic nature of the Tom of Finland stamps would prove too much for many other countries to swallow.

The stamps’ designer Timo Berry said:

"Tom of Finland's greatest significance is that these gay figures were given their masculinity. Previously they had been portrayed as ‘girlish.’

"It's great that these sketches that had to be sold in secret can now be publicly viewed on envelopes and postcards.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Harvey Milk commemorative stamp.

Watch a report on the Tom of Finland stamps, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Tom Of Finland Stamps Break Postal Sales Records - VIDEO" »


Ten Percent Of Population March For LGBTI Equality In The Faroe Islands

Faroe islands pride 2014

Police in the Faroe Islands estimate than 10 percent of the population took part in an LGBT equality march on July 27th, reports Gay Star News.

Of the island’s 50,000 people, it is thought that 5,000 took part in Sunday’s march.

A bill providing for same-sex marriage was defeated in March even though polls have shown that public support is as high as 68%.  

The Faroe Islands, an autonomous country and a dependency of Denmark, is the only Nordic country other than Finland that does not allow same-sex marriage.


European Court Of Human Rights Rules Transgender Woman Must Divorce Before Her Gender Is Recognized

European court of human rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that married transgender people living in countries where same-sex marriage is illegal must divorce if they want their true gender to be recognized, reports Gay Star News.

The decision comes after Heli Hämäläinen, a Finnish transgender woman, was told on July 16th that she can only have her gender recognized if she divorces her wife.

The ECHR ruled that there is no obligation on states without same-sex marriage laws to marry two people of the same gender if one of the partners is transgender.

The couple, married for 18 years with one child, say that getting divorced would go against their religious convictions.

Although the ECHR recognized the difficulties of daily situations for transgender people without legal gender recognition, it said that forcing the couple to end their marriage and instead enter into a registered partnership should not be a problem.

Arja Voipio, Transgender Europe’s Co-Chair from Finland, said:

“Our thoughts are today with Heli Hämäläinen and her family. The Court decided that their rights as a family are inferior to a narrow minded opinion about what a family and marriage should look like. The verdict shows that transgender issues at stake are still not properly understood.”


Archbishop Of Finland Apologizes For 'Cruel Treatment' Of Gays

Kari Mäkinen

The Archbishop of Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has apologized for the cruel treatment of gay people and other sexual minorities, reports YLE Uutiset.

Speaking at the public forum SuomiAreena, Kari Mäkinen said:

“When I think of the outside pressure and treatment that we have been guilty of displaying towards sexual minorities as a church and as a society for decades and how it still continues, I think it’s time for an apology.”

Mäkinen said he hoped his apology would encourage others to follow suit.

In June, Finland’s Parliament rejected a measure that would have legalized “gender-neutral marriage”, making it possible for same-sex couples to marry.


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. 


Finland to Issue 'Tom of Finland' Postage Stamps: VIDEO

Finland

Finland is set to release postage stamps honoring the work of gay artist Tom of Finland:

The artist, whose work celebrates the male form and Itella describes as ‘proud homoeroticism’, was selected by graphic designer Timo Berry.

"The sheet (of stamps) portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself. There is never too much of that in this northern country," said Berry in an Itella press release.

The sheet of three stamps is to be released in September in conjunction with a new Postal Museum planned for the Vapriikki centre in Tampere.

Enjoy a 'making of' video (work-unfriendly), in Finnish, and a great bonus clip about the Tom of Finland Foundation in Echo Park, California, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Finland to Issue 'Tom of Finland' Postage Stamps: VIDEO" »


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