Finnish Parliament considers overturning equal marriage after anti-LGBT Citizen’s Initiative
Finland’s Parliament discussed a bid to block equal marriage, after a string of citizen’s initiatives on the issue.
In November 2014, the Finnish Parliament passed a citizens’ initiative on gender-neutral marriage by a tight vote of 105-92, after a number of previous defeats.
The country’s President Sauli Niinistö signed marriage legislation into law a few months later, paving the way for weddings to begin on March 1 2017.
But the law, which came about as a result of a public Citizen’s Initiative petition signed by over 167,000 voters, is now under threat from a rival initiative signed by opponents of same-sex marriage.
The country’s Parliament last week heard the case for blocking marriage after the ‘Genuine Matrimony Association’ succeeded in filing an Initiative to keep marriage “between a man and woman”.
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The issue headed back to Parliament as MPs discussed whether to repeal the law.
The Helsinki Times reported that members of the right-wing Finns Party rallied against against the law, with MP Mika Niikko suggesting the debate over the issue of gender-neutral marriage has focused excessively on the rights of adults, not those of children.
According to YLE, “several MPs” have also come to believe the 2014 parliamentary decision was “a mistake”, in the face of prolonged opposition from some anti-LGBT groups.
However, many stood up for equality in the chamber.
The initiative may return to the chamber for a vote.
As a candidate in 2015, Centre Party prime minister Juha Sipilä had indicated their party would not seek to undo the measure.
Same-sex marriage is set to become law on March 1 2017.