Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Finland Enacts Marriage Equality

Finland becomes the last of the Scandinavian countries this week to embrace marriage equality when its Parliament enacted a bill to do so by a vote of 105 to 92. Finland has had the equivalent of civil unions (called registered partnerships) since 2002.

Think Progress reports:
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb praised the legislature for “approaching the same level as that of other Nordic and Western countries on this very delicate and difficult issue,” referring to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, all of which already allow same-sex couples to marry. Finland previously allowed same-sex couples to register their partnerships, but they were not allowed to marry. 
Although the law might not take effect until 2016, the vote makes Finland the 18th country in the world to approve allowing same-sex couples to marry nationwide. This tally does not include the United States and Mexico, where marriage equality is still localized, or countries like Australia and Colombia who have extended some recognition to same-sex couples, but not full marriage rights. The last country to approve marriage equality was Luxembourg in June, and that law could take effect as soon as January of 2015.

The bill was considered by the Finnish Parliament through an unusual process by which citizens were able to sign a petition to encourage lawmakers to vote on the issue.

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