Jani Toivola (Greens) took part in a debate over a citizens' initiative to deny same-sex couples the right to marry at the Finnish Parliament on 9 September, 2016.
Jani Toivola (Greens) took part in a debate over a citizens' initiative to deny same-sex couples the right to marry at the Finnish Parliament on 9 September, 2016.

A citizens' initiative to repeal the upcoming legislative amendment granting marriage rights to same-sex couples was discussed at the Finnish Parliament on Thursday.

Hanna Sarkkinen (Left Alliance) reminded that everyone should be treated equally under the law and pointed out that the legislative amendment will have no effect whatsoever on the lives of those who oppose it. The amendment, she added, has not even had an impact on the practices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.

Related posts:

- Pastors won't officiate same-sex weddings despite legislative change (05 September, 2016)

- Finland is now more gay-friendly than Sweden (12 May, 2016)

- Grand Committee votes for equal marriage rights (03 December, 2014)

- Parliament votes in favour of equal marriage rights (28 November, 2016)

The Bishops' Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church ruled at the end of last month that irrespective of the upcoming amendment its pastors should not officiate the weddings of same-sex couples. YLE reported a couple of days later that two pastors from Helsinki – Toni Fagerholm and Liinamaria Roos – have declared their intention not to comply with the guidelines provided by the Bishops' Conference.

“They should be relieved of their duties,” said Pentti Oinonen (PS).

One of his fellow members of the Finns Party, Leena Meri, pointed out that the over 100,000 signatories of the citizens' initiative consider it important that the issue is re-considered by the Parliament. Mika Niikko (PS), in turn, argued that the debate over the issue of gender-neutral marriage has focused excessively on the rights of adults, not those of children.

Emma Kari (Greens) contrastively estimated that it is frustrating and insulting for sexual minorities that marriage rights are yet again on the agenda regardless of the fact that the amendment has already received the blessing of the Parliament.

Her party comrade, Jani Toivola, reminded that revisions to the regulations concerning fertility treatments already effectively recognise the fact that there are various ways to form and start a family. “It has opened the door for a process that should result in law-makers recognising the position of all such families,” he said.

The amendment granting same-sex couples the right to marry is to be implemented on 1 March, 2017.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi


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