News in brief

THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRAT MP PÄIVI RÄSÄNEN has been questioned by the Helsinki Police Department for alleged incitement, over an anti-LGBT+ booklet she published in 2004. The faith-based legal advocacy group ADF International, who is supporting Räsänen, claims that she was subjected to 'lengthy' questioning over the booklet.

The 24-page booklet, titled 'Male and Female He Created Them - Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity', is a lengthy diatribe on the supposed incompatibility with LGBTQ+ relationships and the Christian faith. The contents of the booklet prompted the police to open a criminal investigation into Räsänen for inciting hatred on the basis of sexuality, which was outlawed in Finland in 1995. 

This isn't the first time that Räsänen, the former Interior Minister of Finland, has been at the centre of homophobia and hate speech allegations. In June 2019 she responded to the news that the Helsinki Pride Festival was partnering with Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church by posting a bible passage on Facebook with the caption "How can the church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of pride?”. 

Räsänen has said she will be interrogated again by police on March 2. It is unclear whether she will be formally charged with a crime. 


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva