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Finland Enacts Citizen-Supported Same-Sex Marriage Law: VIDEO

President Sauli Niinistö

Finland has become the last Nordic country to provide for same-sex marriage after President Sauli Niinistö (above) signed a bill into law last Friday, reports The Advocate.

The Finnish parliament passed the legislation last November.

The signing is the first piece of legislation brought to Finland’s Parliament as a citizens' initiative.

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07ba1bf1970d-300wiAija Salo of Finnish LGBT group National Seta, said:

"This was a very large and unique campaign, it was the first citizen's movement. The public spoke. It is very important to a lot of people personally and also symbolically, and people are very happy."

The law will allow for same-sex marriages by March 2017.

Last December, almost 7,800 Finnish citizens resigned from the Lutheran church after Archbishop Kari Mäkinen (right) supported the vote in favor of gay marriage.

Watch a Finnish comedy sketch (with English subtitles) which suggests anti-marriage equality arguments are stupid all over the world, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Switzerland's Lower House Votes In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage Initiative

Switzerland’s Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council, the lower house of the Swiss Federal Assembly, has voted to approve a “marriage for all” initiative introduced by the Green Liberal Party last week, reports Pink News.

Switzerland mapIn a joint statement welcoming the move, Pink Cross, Swiss Rainbow Families Association and Transgender Network Switzerland said:

“The Swiss LGBT umbrella associations support marriage equality and applaud the members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council for their support and foresight and for assuming their responsibility to grant all Swiss the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

“We are not asking for special rights; we are simply asking for equality. And we are asking for marriage equality because our relationships are as strong and our families are as worthy as those of everyone else in Switzerland.”

A poll published on Monday found that 54% are in favor of same-sex marriage. Although a majority of men are opposed, 62% of female respondents support marriage equality.

A change to the constitution and a national referendum are now required in order to provide for same-sex marriage.


John Oliver Takes Aim at Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and the Problem of Elected Judges: VIDEO

Oliver

Fun fact: 85% of state judges in America are elected. Unsurprisingly, this didn't sit well with John Oliver, who devoted his top story of last night's Last Week Tonight to highlighting the numerous conflicts of interest that arise when judges must pander to the electorate and accept campaign money in order to keep their jobs. 

Exhibit A on Oliver's list of problematic judges is Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who Oliver says is living up to his state slogan "Alabama: Boldly refusing to accept diversity and the inevitable since 1819" with his continued efforts to try and stop gay marriage.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Marriage News Watch: AL, TX, KS - VIDEO

Afer

AFER's Matt Baume reports on the handful of holdout Alabama counties still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, marriage equality arriving in Texas for one couple, Rep. Tim Huelskamp reintroducing a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and more. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Homophobic Washington Florist Rejects $2001 Settlement Offer: 'It's About Freedom, Not Money'

Stuzman

On Thursday, we reported that a Washington state judge had ruled against Barronelle Stuzman, the Richland florist who in 2013 refused to provide flowers for a longtime customer's wedding to his same-sex partner because of her "relationship with Jesus Christ."

Stuzman was found to be in violation of the state's anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Following the ruling, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson provided Stuzman with a settlement offer, but Stuzman refused.

Stuzman, it seems, was always planning on taking the anti-gay martyr route.

“Before this case began, my office wrote to Ms. Stutzman, asking her to comply with state law," said Ferguson. "Had she agreed to no longer discriminate, my office would not have filed suit, and Ms. Stutzman would not have paid any costs, fees or penalties."

The Washington Post reports:

On Friday, Stutzman told Ferguson in a letter released through her attorneys that the state’s settlement offer of a $2,000 penalty, a $1 payment for court and legal fees, and an agreement “not to discriminate in the future,” was akin to Judas’s betrayal of Jesus in the Bible. “You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver,” she wrote, adding, “that is something I will not do.”

“Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about,” she added. “It’s about freedom, not money.” 

Stutzman’s attorney said that she’ll be appealing the ruling.

Read Stuzman's full letter AFTER THE JUMP...

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Failed Virginia Lt. Governor E. W. Jackson Warns Of Divine Punishment For Gay Marriage: AUDIO

JacksonFailed Virginia Lt. Governor candidate Bishop E.W. Jackson has long since abandoned all pretense of not hating the gays, and is now prognosticating doom from the almighty upon the U.S. if gay marriage isn't stopped. Appearing on the radio show Trunews this last Wednesday, Jackson told host Rick Wiles:

Because of our absolute rebellion against God in this issue [of gay marriage], which is exactly what is happening, because of our absolute rebellion against God, the judgment of God will fall on my beloved country in a way that I don’t desire to see and no American should as a result of the fact that we are literally shaking our fist at God.

While Jackson evidently has no understanding of the definition of "literally", he has a keen understanding of how to set himself up as a soothsayer: predict that some unnamed, unspecified calamity will happen at some point in the future; say that said calamity will be divine punishment for an issue one already takes personal umbrage with; when something terrible does eventually happen - an inevitability as wonderful and terrible things happen all of the time - act as if this were the exact thing you foretold and blame the prepared scapegoat, abandoning all sense of rationality.

God's punishment of the gays has been attributed to virtually everything, from autism to ebola to Hurricane Katrina. Though if things like the survival of the French Quarter during Katrina is any indication, one more prediction can be made: god's wrath has terrible aim.

You can listen to Jackson speak for himself AFTER THE JUMP...

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