FINLAND: Parliament Rejects Last Ditch Attempt To Stop Same-Sex Marriage, Weddings Start March 1st

Finland’s national broadcaster reports:

Finnish MPs defeated a bill to strike down same-sex marriage on February 17. Opposition to the proposal was strong, as 120 parliamentarians voted against it, with 48 in support. Two members of parliament voted absent and 29 MPs did not cast a vote.

A Finnish movement called Aito avioliitto (True Marriage) that seeks to uphold marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the law, was the instigator of the citizens’ initiative. After six months of active campaigning, the group gathered over 100,000 signatures by the September 29 deadline last autumn.

The Finnish Parliament approved a new law granting the same legal rights and protections to same-sex couples in December 2014. This law too originated with a citizens’ initiative – the first and last so far to become a law since citizens’ initiatives were taken into use in Finland in 2012.

True Marriage took its cue from France’s anti-LGBT La Manif Pour Tous and used their logo at their marches. (Tipped by JMG reader Luis)

  • Todd20036

    Yeah, all over the planet, the haters cannot come up with one reason to stop gay marriage that doesn’t include bible quotes or the idea of BABIES!!!!

    Funny that

    • Mike__in_Houston

      There are still too many people who believe that there can’t be “haves” unless they are “have nots.” I also believe there are a substantial number of people who married into opposite-sex marriages because they figured that’s all they could ever have (usually without the spouse’s knowledge), and now feel they have to fight against the ones who held out waiting for the marriage they actually wanted. I can’t think of any other reason why they would give a shit.

    • (((GC)))

      As if, with 7 billion people and counting on this overloaded rock, we NEED to be making so many new babies!!!!

  • AW
    • Kim K’s Kute Koochy✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Can’t even poll without donation to the MOFO.???? ???

      • AW

        Yeah I’m not sure about that part. It says “thanks for taking part of the poll” but then take the next step (backwards if you ask me) and donate.

      • (((GC)))

        Looks like it records your answer either way. I’ve gotten “bacon” email from progressive groups that do the same thing, start with a push poll then ask for a donation.

        In any case, I used Private Browsing (or Incognito mode) and gave a fake name and email address.

        • McSwagg

          DonaldDuck and MickeyMouse use their gmail and yahoo email accounts quite often on these types of polls.
          (Shhhh, don’t tell them I’ve hacked their accounts.)

    • vorpal

      Lots of poorly worded questions in the vein of:
      Do you disagree that A does not do B?

      Someone really sucks at writing polls here.

      • Treant

        By design. That way, they can interpret the answer in either way that’s more advantageous.

      • McSwagg

        Sounds like the “logic” of some trolls that I encounter. For some, I think they’re trying to be “clever” in their intentional confusion. For the rest, they’re just dumb as the “pretzel logic” they employ.

    • (((GC)))
  • David L. Caster

    This is a good result. The government acted to protect marriage equality without prompting from a court. The NOMnuts cannot claim the people were not heard on the matter either.

  • ByronK

    Huzzah, huzzah!!!

  • Kruhn

    So I can find me a husband I can see eye to eye! (As I’m very tall) Getting me a flight on Finnair and go husband hunting!

    • i was just thinking something very similar. but otoh, pootie has his eye on a number of nearby nations, and now that he controls the US, he just might get away with invading.

      • Kruhn

        It’s an EU member, we could move to Costa del Sol.

    • McSwagg

      I found the Finns to have a rather normal distribution of heights. It’s the Dutch who tend to be taller than the typical European.

      • Kruhn

        Don’t ruin my preconceptions! Bwahhh! LOL

  • as a person of Finnish heritage, i have always been a little surprised at the resistance to equality there. all my Finnish relatives over there are super liberal, atheists, and pro-equality. i have yet to make it over there, but i guess there must be pockets of conservatives i just have never met.

    • ByronK

      I’m afraid there are sacs of deplorables everywhere. Some bigger than others.

    • Luis De California

      It was only a handful of committee members who kept blocking bills. The people, and as we saw in the final vote, full parliament were ready for same-sex marriage a long time ago. Bureaucracy doensn’t help either. They had to have several votes and each bill promulgated etc it was a mess and probably why the goal was 2017 when the President signed the main bill in 2015.

      • McSwagg

        The Finns are a cautious people who adopt change slowly. They seem to want to work out most of the ramifications in advance rather than have the courts do so afterward. They are the tortoise in the “Tortoise and Hare” story. They have always lagged behind their Nordic neighbors in social progress (except women’s right to vote, in which they were first, but that coincided with their independence).

    • McSwagg

      Hey CD, I lived there for a year. I’d say they are, as a nation, more conservative in a “cautious, slow to adopt” manner rather than being “non-progressive” in nature. They have always lagged a few steps and a few years behind their Nordic neighbors on social issues but they want to be seen by the world as part of the “Nordic Tradition” as a progressive society. They seem to want to see all the ramifications of a change worked out before they cautiously move ahead. It’s a valid, thoughtful, considered approach to politics. Remember, their closest and biggest “foreign” neighbor for the last 100 years since their independence has been Russia/CCCP. The CCCP invaded Finland during WWII. Finland defended itself with armed cross country ski patrols. That’s where the Olympic event of the Biathalon (ski and shoot) came from. Before their independence 100 years ago they were a part of the Czarist Russian empire, and before even that, a part of the Swedish empire.

      Of course like any place they have their “bible belt” and conservative enclaves. Also, be aware that there is a bit of racism in some of them, mostly against the Somali immigrants/refugees they brought in during the 1990s. Overall, I found Finns to be a reserved, guarded people in their social interactions. They live by the adage of not speaking ill of another. If they open up to you, it is genuine and sincere and something to be cherished.

      Otherwise know that it is cold as Helsinki, Finland is at the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. By the way, if you watch the movie “Reds”, all the “Moscow” scenes were filmed in Helsinki. I got a kick out of identifying the locations as I watched the movie.

      • Acronym Jim

        It will be a cold day in Helsinki before the Finns approve marriage equality.

        Oh wait…

  • Kim K’s Kute Koochy✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    “Tom of Finland” styled wedding!

    • teeveedub

      Not to burst any bubbles, but the one time I was in Finland, I never saw anyone who remotely resembled anyone in Tom’s drawings. Think more along the lines of Lucien Freud or Fernando Botero.

      • Millstone

        What I noticed, at least in Helsinki, is how lean, fresh and clean they look.

        • McSwagg

          I lived there a year, and agree.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    OT but this is not good news for millions of Americans.

    Republican Health Proposal Would Redirect Money From Poor to Rich
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/upshot/republican-health-proposal-would-redirect-money-from-poor-to-rich.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

    • Boreal

      Those poor people need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get a trust fund.

    • Todd20036

      Thank god. You think it’s easy with a paid off condo and excellent health insurance?
      We wealthy suffer so much.

    • Lazycrockett

      Not surprising from a party that has tax exemptions for their illegal immigrant nannies.

  • JoeMyGod
    • Boreal

      Scary to see how much of the world is still hostile to us.

      • Rex

        They’re waiting to see if the countries that allow same sex marriage come crashing down.
        Trump, however, can’t be blamed on marriage equality.
        He’s a product of plain stupidity.

        • boatboy_srq

          tRump is a product of extraordinary stupidity.

        • Steverino

          Plain stupidity is closely related to Palin stupidity.

          • Ben in Oakland

            It’s practically anagrammatical.

          • McSwagg

            Dyslexia strikes again!!!!!!

      • Nic Peterson

        But thrilling to see how far we have come. I never thought I would see the day.

        • Boreal

          Agreed. I was so used to the map of the US with just a few blue patches until suddenly it was all blue.

    • j.martindale

      Shame on the Australians and remaining Europeans. How reactionary they seem today.

      • Millstone

        They’ll get there. I’m gonna give Australia a little breathing room because of how decisively they handled gun control after the Port Arthur massacre. (No mass shootings in Australia since then.)

      • Luis De California

        Sadly, it’s only a handful keeping the right to marry away. If everyone voted their conscience Australia, Germany, Austria would have the votes to pass a bill. In Australia and Germany the PMs are to blame for no free vote. Austria’s center-left wants to make marriage a priority if they go into a coalition with the center-right again to stop the far-right.

        It’s annoying the votes are already there, but ugh that feet dragging.

        • Jack M.

          Gay marriage advocates are to blame in Australia. They don’t want marriage to pass under a conservative government. They want Labour to get the credit. So they refused to let a plebiscite go through, even though we would have won. The vote was to have taken place this month and Australia would have marriage equality within weeks. But because they put loyalty to Labour above all else, it won’t happen for years.

          • Ben in Oakland

            Bullshit. The parliament should just do a its damned job, instead of putting people’s lives up to a vote.

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            That stinks.

          • ChrisMorley

            Well that’s a conservative way to spin PM Malcolm Turnbull’s refusal to allow his own MPs a free vote on the issue. Opposition parties and most supporters of marriage equality point out that his proposal for a plebiscite is expensive since taxpayers would fund both campaigns, it requires an unnecesary national ballot and it would unleash a very divisive campaign.

          • Jack M.

            And so what? Turnbull and the Liberals won the election so if marriage equality is the priority, then we have to go at it via their route, even if that means jumping through some unnecessary hoops. Our side should be advocating for the shortest route to marriage equality, not complaining about the expense of a referendum. In fact, they haven’t suddenly become fiscal conservatives. They just don’t want this to happen under a conservative government and they are happy to sell out LGB people in order to curry favor with Labour.

        • Monicajkoon

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj196:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !mj196:
          ➽➽
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    • Ron Robertson

      I believe gay marriage is now legal in Colombia as well (as of sometime last year).

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      That map is incorrect. Colombia has marriage equality now.

      Also, Germany, Austria, Chile, Italy, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Estonia, Ecuador and several others have civil unions.

    • Danieruw

      That map is out of date. Colombia has marriage equality too.

  • Boreal
  • FAEN

    Oddly I’ve always thought of Finland as being progressive when it came to social issues.

    • Reality.Bites

      There is no country without (at minimum) a large ultra right minority

      • FAEN

        Sigh-that sounds about correct.

      • vorpal

        It makes sense, since intelligence is probably a normal distribution, and thus half of the population is less than average in terms of intelligence.

        • (((GC)))

          Except in Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

          (We don’t tend to hear about same-sex relationships there, though, for some reason…)

    • Luis De California

      It is. It just depends on government or in this case committees. A citizens initiative in Finland overrides a committee no and forces full Parliament to vote on a law no matter the committee opinion. Full Parliament hadn’t voted on any law until 2014 because committees kept voting against and causing the bill to die before the plenary even got to it. This new measure allowed the bill to catapult over that stage.

      Had the people been heard in the past, marriage would’ve come years ago, right after their fellow Nordics.

    • McSwagg

      Having lived there for a year, I found them to be progressive, but cautious. They move much slower than their Nordic neighbors.

      • FAEN

        Thank you for the insight and since I’m nosey(please forgive me)how did you end up in Finland?

        • McSwagg

          I was working for an engineering company in Texas that had a project in the Porvoo Refinery, just east of Helsinki. I was performing the on-site implementation of a major software project.

  • FAEN

    O/T- Anyone else’s JMG page constantly rebooting every few minutes or is it just me?

    • another_steve

      My PC occasionally experiences momentary monitor blackouts while on this site. Over in a fraction of a second, but my monitor goes totally black and then recovers.

      Happens on no other site I visit.

      • FAEN

        Thank you matey.

    • Steverino

      Happens to me frequently on my iPad: “a problem occurred and this page was reloaded.” Usually when I am in the middle of typing a comment. Never happens on my desktop PC.

      • FAEN

        That makes sense since I’m using an iPhone.

        • Steverino

          I’m no techie, but it may just be an iOS thing, perhaps involving compatibility issues between iOS and Disqus.

          • FAEN

            That’s probably it.

          • FAEN

            It’s been really bad today. Taking me 10 minutes to post because of the constant rebooting.

  • Kim K’s Kute Koochy✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    O/T: You can’t make this crap up
    https://action.donaldjtrump.com/mainstream-media-accountability-survey/

    His “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey” required donation to record the answers.

    Damn!!! Is this his own campaign & did it violate any law??

    Not to mentioned, there are questions like
    “Do you believe that the mainstream media has reported unfairly on our movement?”
    “Do you believe that the media creates false feuds within our Party in order to make us seem divided?”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/87014f62ff0cb2f470a704c242998f13174b84407768bae88ae2ea466e799748.png

    • Steverino

      Yeah, it’s a push poll. Entering your name and zip code is required, so if you answer the wrong way, you can be put on a list.

  • another_steve

    New book out there: “Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome”

    http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100847180

  • Rex

    The Dutch in Old Amsterdam to it, Not to mention the Finns.
    Let’s do it – let’s fall in love!

    • TuuxKabin

      done it. it’s wunnerful.

  • Rex

    Yippee for the 120 Parliamentarians who said Jaa!

  • Blake J Butler

    Senate confirms Pruitt, by a vote of 52-46, Collins was the only republican to vote against Pruitt, Heitkamp and Manchin were the only “Democrats” to vote for Pruitt.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/17/us/politics/scott-pruitt-environmental-protection-agency.html?_r=0

    • Boreal

      Bye bye environment.

      • PickyPecker

        Clean water is overrated.

  • Halou

    Hopefully this will have a positive influence on Estonia, where more than a few people like to think if themselves as more Nordic than Baltic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognition_of_same-sex_unions_in_Estonia#Same-sex_marriage

    • Luis De California

      A court already told the county Tallinn is in to register a foreign marriage. There was no appeal to the highest court, but slowly the wall there is chipping 🙂 Their civil unions allow stepchild adoption which is already ahead of several western countries in the mediterranean with partnership laws.

    • McSwagg

      Estonians are ethnically related to Finns. Their languages are somewhat similar like Spanish and Portuguese. With some effort, they can understand each others speech.

  • Do Something Nice

    Buh bye environmental laws.

    “Senate confirms Scott Pruitt to lead Environmental Protection Agency”

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/17/politics/senate-epa-scott-pruitt/

    • Lazycrockett

      There is gonna be a shit storm next week when all of his prior emails get released.

      • safari

        I don’t understand why there wasn’t a delay. It’s stupid to not wait one week.

        • (((GC)))

          That’s EXACTLY why the Rethuglicans didn’t want to wait!

    • PickyPecker

      We didn’t really need an environment anyway. /s

  • BearEyes

    how do you vote “absent”? Or do they mean abstain?

    • McSwagg

      Language translations can be tricky. It may be that their word for “abstain” doesn’t quite have the range of meanings that ours has, so “absent” could be a better fit. However, we would consider the “non-voters” to be the ones counted as “absent”.

      • BearEyes

        I don’t speak Finnish, so I was curious if something got lost in translation.

        • McSwagg

          I only know a few words and can tell you it is a very complex language. They do not expect visitors to know more than just a few words and are pleased when you make the effort.

          • BearEyes

            I only learned a few words when I was there, but speaking Swedish got me by. I learned (forgive any misspellings) ravintoli (restaurant), posti-panki (post office bank), and ixi kaxi komi (1, 2, 3). I spent time in Helsinki and Turku.

          • McSwagg

            I got by speaking English. Stayed in Helsinki and visited Porvoo, Turku, and Savonlinna. In addition to the common basics, I had to know a few technical terms to be able to read the computer screens for the control systems in the refinery where I was working.

  • JT

    The “traditional marriage” supporters have such a brilliant tradition to uphold.
    http://www.peacock-panache.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/traditional_marriage_redefinition.jpg

  • Steverino

    Nice to see marriage equality made it to the Finnish line.

  • Jack M.

    Two years and three months from passage of marriage equality to implementation. That has to be the longest of any country or state in the world. It’s so long that it is offensive. I have never heard a believable explanation for it.

    • Luis De California

      It was a bureacratic mess.

      First the negative committee opinion which the citizens initiative forced Parliament to agree or disagree with (they voted to disagree with the committee) then the actual vote asking if they want to legalize it (late 2014). Then promulgation of the original bill (2015).

      Then came the loose strings like pensions which required more legislation and promulgation. The person in charge of putting it to a future vote admitted he wasn’t keen on the idea and that’s why Parliament took a big break between follow up legislation because of his hesitation. Then more promulgation. Rinse and repeat.

      • McSwagg

        The Finns are a cautious people in my experience, I suspect that the “bureaucratic mess” is intended to be a feature rather than a flaw in their system. They like to understand all the foreseeable ramifications up front and will move slowly as they work through them all. Americans, in contrast, let the courts work out many of the details after the fact. It’s just a different approach, and their’s fits their national character.

      • Jack M.

        It’s not that complicated. It’s the same marriage law and the same benefits law, only applied to new couples. New York state had 30 days from passage to implementation. Maine and Hawaii had about the same amount of time. All of the states that got marriage equality from federal litigation managed to implement it with no problem with no transition period. In foreign countries, the gap has been a few months. So for Finland to claim that it needed more than 2 years is just ridiculous on its face. They were stalling, hoping that an intervening election or some other opportunity would arise to kill it.

  • TheManicMechanic

    Ah, some good news for a change.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    There was even a question after issuing the Tom of Finland stamps?

  • Acronym Jim

    Jaaas Queens! Thanks to all 120 of you.

  • narutomania

    Huzzah!! Congratulations to Finland and our Finnish friends!!

    My favourite teacher in high school was my physics teacher, Mr Moilinen. He was a great guy. 100% Finnish from the top of his 6’4″ frame to the tip of his size 14 boot. The man was big. He was that rare combination of (big+gentle) x (disciplined+demanding). I love ever minute of my classes with him.

    When he heard I was studying Italian, Spanish, and German, he said, “Great. But stay away from Finnish. If you aren’t born speaking Finnish, you cant’ learn it.”

    • McSwagg

      It is a very complex language related closely to Estonian and distantly to Hungarian.

  • Congratulations Finland, you made Mommie Dammit happy… now if you REALLY want to make me happy, work on that piss-water you erroneously claim is “vodka.”

    • McSwagg

      They only export the “piss-water”. They keep the good stuff for themselves.

  • billbear1961
    • McSwagg

      Estonian artist Gunther Reindorff based on the Sibelius Symphony “Finlandia”

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1b097ea77f0b647063fce0a96a2b23e00a143370cc382732c44389b6948a03f5.jpg

      • billbear1961

        Hello, McSwagg!

        🙂

        • McSwagg

          Hello back. I hope you’re weathering the Trump Typhoon.

          • billbear1961

            “Weathering” is one way of putting it.

            *sighs*

          • McSwagg

            Hang in there. I keep looking for the “one thing” that will bring it all down around their ears. It’s the only way I can read the news and maintain a bit of optimism.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme
    • JCF

      Put a ring WHERE?! ;-p~~~

  • JCF

    Mazel Tov!