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The Finnish Parliament on Friday turned down a citizens’ initiative to deny same-sex couples the right to marry by a vote of 48 in favour and 120 against.
The Finnish Parliament on Friday turned down a citizens’ initiative to deny same-sex couples the right to marry by a vote of 48 in favour and 120 against.

The Finnish Parliament has turned down a citizens’ initiative designed to negate the upcoming legislative amendment extending marriage rights to same-sex couples by a vote of 48 in favour and 120 against.

Same-sex couples will thus be allowed to marry in Finland as of 1 March, 2017.

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The Aito Avioliitto initiative was deemed problematic from a legislative viewpoint by both lawmakers and legal experts because it was launched to negate a citizens’ initiative already approved by the Parliament. The initiative, they pointed out, could set a dangerous precedent for a cycle of initiatives and counter-initiatives and, thus, undermine the credibility of the citizens’ initiative as a tool of direct democracy.

The rejection of the controversial initiative was met with jubilation and relief by several Members of the Parliament on Friday.

“That’s it! The Parliament has confirmed that equal marriage [rights] are a 100 per cent certainty from here to eternity,” tweeted Ville Niinistö, the chairperson of the Green League.

One of his party comrades, Emma Kari, labelled the outcome as a triumph of love. “Love was victorious,” she tweeted. “Our country will be a more equal place as of 1 March.”

Maria Guzenina (SDP) similarly estimated that the decision to reject the initiative was reason for jubilation. “1 March is a day for jubilation. Equal marriage laws will enter into force, just as they were supposed to,” she stated on Twitter.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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