After taking just one day to gather 50,000 signatures on a petition in order to force lawmakers to consider an equal marriage bill, pensioners delivered the petition to parliament.

Finnish lawmakers must now consider the bill which was blocked earlier this month, which aims to legalise equal marriage by making marriage gender-neutral.

On 1 March the Finnish parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted narrowly to reject a bill to legalise equal marriage.

The 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.

The I Do 2013 campaign was launched on Tuesday, and received resounding support from the Finnish public.

The civil proposals website, kansalaisaloite.fi crashed as a result of the overwhelming demand from the public to sign the petition.

The campaign was launched with a view to gathering 250,000 signatures, and its supporters believe that marriage should be offered to all, irrespective of sexual orientation.

Finland is the only remaining Nordic country which does not legally recognise same-sex unions.

Both Norway and Sweden approved gender- neutral marriage in 2009. Iceland followed in 2010, and in 2012, Denmark also joined them in legalising equal marriage.

Registered partnerships were created for gay couples in 2002. In 2009, the Finnish parliament voted to allow gay couples in registered partnerships to adopt the biological children of their partners.