Finland: Christian party denies it will quit government over same-sex marriage
The Finnish Christian Democrat party has cancelled a pledge to drop out of the governing coalition if same-sex marriage passes.
Christian Democrat leader Päivi Räsänen had previously said that her party would leave the government over any marriage law, saying: “‘It’s a matter of principle and it could see us leave.”
However, ahead of a vote in the country’s parliament next month – on a citizens’ initiative to introduce marriage – Ms Räsänen said the agreement would only apply to a government-sponsored bill.
She told YLE “We are keeping our side of the bargain and naturally we trust that our government partners will also keep to our agreement.
“The government has to concentrate on vital questions about the Finnish economy.”
Swedish People’s Party Minister Carl Haglund said: “Finland needs responsible government”
“Finland is in an unusually challenging economic situation.
“Now there’s a need for responsibility, not political defections from the government.
“It cannot be that our country’s government’s ability to operate is brought into question just because of a principled opposition to a citizen’s initiative.”
Finland is the only Nordic country to not allow same-sex marriage, only permitting couples to enter into registered partnerships.
Several attempts to introduce equal marriage to date have all failed, with the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee rejecting it by 10 votes to 6.