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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...

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Finnish Olympian Swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen Comes Out as Gay to Raise Awareness About Sochi

Liukkonen

Finnish Olympic swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen has come out of the closet because he wants to raise awareness about Russia's anti-gay laws ahead of the Sochi Games, YLE reports:

"I wanted to start a broader discussion in connection with Sochi, because it’s sad that the legislation in Russia restricts the human rights of young people and others," Liukkonen told Yle.

Liukkonen added that the Finnish sporting world was also in need of a more open attitude to sexuality.

"In the future I would hope that elite athletes and other people will not find homosexuality to be any kind of news," said Liukkonen...

Liukkonen said he's also speaking out because things were so difficult for him growing up.

"As the matter wasn’t discussed, I tried to forget about it, but during high school I began to accept that I am made this way," said Liukkonen. "Acceptance hasn’t necessarily been easy, but it hasn’t been horribly difficult either. This has been a long, slow process for me, but now I’m there."

Liukkonen, who is the first Finnish athlete to come out of the closet while still active in his sport, competed at the 2012 London Olympics and has won bronze at the European Championships.

Added the swimmer: "It’s a really great feeling that I can finally be myself."

Two other Olympians who have come out as a response to Russia's anti-gay laws? Canadian Olympic speed skater Anastasia Bucsis and Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff.


Gay Marriage Anthem 'Marry Me' Advances to Finals of Eurovision Song Contest: VIDEO

Marryme_eurovision

Finland's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, "Marry Me" by Krista Siegfrids, has become a gay marriage anthem and advanced to the finals last night with a performance that featured a big wet woman-on-woman kiss.

Check it out as well as a Euronews report on the finalists, AFTER THE JUMP...

Radio Free Europe reports:

Greece's "Alcohol Is Free" by Koza Mostra also made it through, filled with metaphors about the plight of the crisis-stricken country.

The 26 countries competing in the final are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Britain.

2_marryme

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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 kansalaisaloite.fi crashed as a result of the overwhelming demand.


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.


Swimmer Wakes from Snow Nap in Finland, Goes for Icy Dip: VIDEO

Finland

The Finnish are incredibly nuts, and the shrinkage of their nuts must be incredible.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

They somehow must be related to this guy.

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