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Finland: Parliamentary committee narrowly rejects equal marriage bill

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Mar 2013, 6:52pm

    Disappointing. I dare say our own opponents will make hay out of this one. Still, Denmark’s first attempt failed, but passed on the second. It will come to Finland eventually.

    1. Robert! 1043 thumbs up for your postings this last week! PN should now offer you a full-time position, complete with salary! :-)

  2. Great shame. This has been sitting in committee silently for at least a year, it was pretty obvious it had some opponents in high places. Good that from the sounds of it the Bill can be tabled in the parliament for a straight yes/no vote if these signatures are gained.

  3. Obviously Russia still exerts some influence over that country.

    1. Russia has no influence in Finland ,Your thinking of Germany.

      1. From 1809 until 1918 Finland was part of the Russian Empire. I think Dave is suggesting that there is still a Russian influence in Finland and considering that Russia is and has been a major power and the neighbour of Finland, it wouldn’t be so surprising if it does have an influence.

        1. If your thinking the Fins liked being under Russian occupation during this time period your sadly mistaken.And any Russian influence would have been forced rather than accepted. Hence the Fins invited the Germans to help defend them against the Russians during the WWII. Since the war I would say having talked with a lot of expats of Finland I would have to say their influence in the past 60 odd years is from that brief WWII friendship with Germany . Certainly not form their old enemy Russia. You would be surprized I`m sure of many Fins who thought Hitler was a great Guy.

          1. From what I’ve read, Finland reached an armistice with the Soviet Union in 1944 and then forced the Germans out during 1944-45. Following the war, the ‘Finno-Soviet Pact of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance’ was signed. Finnish communists were a significant force in parliament up until the 1980s and during that time they participated in several governments. During the cold war period, Finland and the USSR maintained close relations with pro-Soviet policies being favoured.

          2. Bruce, some Finns have posted further down the page – you should read what they have said.

    2. Matthew S 1 Mar 2013, 8:39pm

      It would be interesting to see Russia’s reaction to having gay marriage just across the border. Especially so close to St Petersburg, where I think the propaganda laws got going.

      1. They do – Norway & Russia share a border.

  4. That There Other David 1 Mar 2013, 7:59pm

    Annoying really, but this will happen. Keep the pressure up.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Mar 2013, 8:19pm

      A majority of 1 isn’t anything for the opposition to be comforable with either. It’s laughable in some ways. Equal marriage is coming, later rather than sooner. Inevitable.

      1. I wonder how estonians are gonna react, would they soon follow with gay partnership laws?

      2. PantoHorse 3 Mar 2013, 5:42pm

        I know. Every time I read of a move for equal marriage being defeated it just makes me think they’re a bunch of dinosaurs, likely hypocritical ones, who are desperately clinging on to some kind of illusion of ‘how things used to be’. It’s cringeworthy to see the same, tired old arguments being trotted out by, essentially, clones of Dorries, Burrowes, Gale et al.

  5. The rise of the populist party True Finns has done a lot of damage for Finland and our parliament is very conservative at the moment. However, the majority of Finns support gay marriage according to polls. It’s coming, and I can’t wait for Russia to realise that equal rights for gay people have reached its borders.

    1. You man the Finniah Nazi Party, right? Oh Gods, what an embarrassment. The Christian Democrats (there is an oxymoron) are of no help either, neither and the Lutheran church does not lend any favours.

  6. GulliverUK 1 Mar 2013, 10:28pm

    They need 50,000 Finnish signatures to force parliament to debate it – they’re very confident of getting that, in fact they’re going for 100,000. Parliament would then be forced to debate the issue regardless.

    It has delayed equal marriage for a year – that’s all. The vote was already very close. Also, given the recent ECHR case in Austria their existing adoption laws under their domestic partnerships are likely illegal.

    1. Hopefully that indicates a tide of progressiveness will sweep away the conservative intransigence in the Finnish Parliament.

  7. ‘True Finns’ = only right-wing, fascist ones!

  8. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 2 Mar 2013, 6:30am

    The vote was close, but yet so so far away!

    Both Finland and Germany have CONSERVATIVE governments, so this was expected to happen anyway!

    However maybe in 4 to 5 years perhaps marriage equality will be allowed in both Finland and Germany once the next Elections happen and left-of-centre win control of the Coalition Governments!

    At least in Finland there is only one House of Pailament and no Senate, so that means it should be easier to allow marriage equality soon!

  9. Coming from Finland, I have to say that unfortunately Russia still has a certain influence on how some finnish people think. There are still many conservatives in the government, even though a clear majority of the citizens are FOR equal rights for LGBT-people.

    I hope that Tahdon2013 – campaign will go through, and we’ll get this legislation passed finally.

    Generally Finland is very accepting, but in some areas, especially in smaller cities, there is a certain level of homophobia. However places like Helsinki are very tolerant.

    My wish is that they put this matter to a public vote, then it would pass EASILY!

    i cover a lot of gay rights topics on my blog, maihead . blogstpot . com

    1. guy from helsinki 2 Mar 2013, 1:28pm

      Also coming from Finland, Russia has no influence whatsoever on the marriage policy (it has some influence on foreign and defence policy). But Finland is still largely a rural country and opinion on marriage equality is polarized between large cities such as Helsinki, and small municipalities. However, the vote was a temporary setback, the initiative will collect the required 50,000 signatures easily (the campaign facebook-page gathered 30,000 likes within a day after the vote).

      1. No, you misunderstood. I didn’t mean that Russia had a direct influence on THIS matter, but the people in general are still very old fashioned, and a part of that is due to the fact that we are so close to Russia, which has a certain influence on the mindset of finns. Our country’s politics are also a lot more involved with Russia than, let’s say Sweden or Denmark. This is why Finland, in parts, is still a very conservative and backwards country.

        But i’m sure that this bill will pass eventually, but I doubt it’ll be this year, or the year after that.

        1. Or, put more simply, some Finns — especially the hard-right ones mentioned earlier — are mentally and politically closer to Russia than they are to Scandinavia, or Western Europe in general.

    2. Thanks for posting! Your views of Fins are interesting and most welcome!

      As Finland is one of those nations that year after year is perceived to be amongst the most transparent and least corrupt on the planet, I have found the news surprising and disappointing.

      However, I have picked up a worthwhile concept via the article saying that the bill “would have made marriage gender-neutral, therefore allowing same-sex couples to marry”.

      Make civil marriage “gender-neutral”! Of course! This is what we should be urging the UK government to simply do. No need for pages and pages of clauses describing a special kind of “Same Sex” marriage! Rather, all the UK government needs to do is make the already existent civil marriage “gender-neutral”.

      So, here on I think I’m going to campaign not for “Same Sex Marriage”, not for “Equal Marriage”, but for “Gender-Neutral Marriage”.

  10. Pavlos Prince of Greece 2 Mar 2013, 5:12pm

    My partner is from Finland, and we planned to marry in his hometown of Savolinna in Western Karelia this summer. Now its all on the ice, sad, but no surprise, not at all. Anne Holmlund was all ways against same-sex marriage, and has say already one year ago that she hopes, this bill will ‘buried’ in this parliamentarian commission (she is speaker here) for ‘long time’. This one year of waiting (maximum under rules of Finish parliament) was very clear anti-gay strategy and nothing more.

  11. GingerlyColors 3 Mar 2013, 5:32pm

    Of the Scandanavian countries, Finland is the most conservative and unfortunately has bucked the trend in allowing gay marriages. Although geographically Scandanavian, Finland is somewhat different when it comes to culture and the Finnish language is totally different to Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. In fact the closest language to Finnish is Hungarian. I hope that the lawmakers in Finland will see sense soon. Marriage equality is on my Christmas wish-list. Finland’s most famous resident please take note!

    1. Straight Finn 4 Mar 2013, 10:20pm

      The closest language to Finnish is not Hungarian but Estonian. Any Finn can tell you that. Not that this has anything to do with the issue. Hopefully the law will soon come. I for one will be putting my name on the Tahdon2013 list when they start collecting names.

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