FINLAND: President Signs Marriage Bill

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö this morning signed his nation’s marriage equality bill into law, but marriages will not commence until March 2017.

The signing was an historic occasion also in respect to the fact that this will be the first piece of legislation brought to Parliament as a citizens’ initiative and approved as the law of the land. Now that the law has been confirmed by the President, the Justice Ministry will begin the job of revising other national legislation to bring it into line with the concept of gender-neutral marriage. According to officials, various family social and health entitlements will have to be examined and revised, as will the law on the legal status of registered same-sex couples. Revisions are to be submitted to Parliament this coming autumn. Parliament passed the final changes to marriage law to allow same-sex marriage in December. The legislation was based on a citizens’ initiative petition signed by 167,000 voters.