Finland’s parliament today began debate on a same-sex marriage bill forced back onto the table by a national petition process. Via Gay Star News:
Under Finnish law, petitions can be started to force parliament to discuss bills that matter – called a ‘citizen’s initiative’. These petitions require 50,000 names within six months. The marriage equality bill achieved nearly 100,000 signatories in 24 hours. With the final tally at 166,000 names, the proposed petition will be discussed in parliament at its initial stage today where it will be sent to Finland’s legal committee. Polling conducted last year shows support for same-sex marriage at 58% with 34% opposed. Around 42,000 people have signed a petition opposing changes to the marriage law. At present, same-sex couples can register their partnerships but have limited rights and cannot adopt their partner’s children. Finland is the only Scandinavian country without same-sex marriage laws.
A marriage equality bill failed to get past the committee stage last March.