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Finland church head: It’s time we apologise to sexual minorities for cruel treatment

Nick Duffy July 16, 2014

The head of Finland’s Lutheran Evangelical Church has issued a public apology for the harm caused by the church’s previous stances on LGBT issues.

Kari Mäkinen, the Archbishop Archbishop of Turku, said that the church needed to apologise for its past wrongdoings before it could move on.

He 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.

“Without any explanations or prevarications.

He added that “cruelty is cruelty”, and urged other religious groups to come forward to do the same.

Finland is the only Nordic country without same-sex marriage, partly due to the strong influence of the state church.

More than 30,000 people split from the church two years ago, over some of the homophobic views espoused.

A same-sex marriage bill was rejected last month by a Finnish parliamentary committee, despite public support.

The Finnish Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted by 10 votes to 6 to reject the bill, pushing it to a vote in the full legislature, expected Autumn.

Last year, a similar bill was rejected by the same committee by 9 votes to 8.

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.

More: apology, Church, Europe, Finland, Finland, Gay, Homophobia, marriage, Religion, same sex marriage, views

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