Thursday, March 01, 2018

Finland Celebrates 1st Anniversary of Same-Sex Marriage

A recent Pride celebration in Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki Pride / Flickr - CC2
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Finland for a full year. A bill for the legalization of same-sex marriage was approved by the Finnish Parliament on December 12, 2014, and signed by President Sauli Niinistö on February 20, 2015. The law eventually took effect a year ago today, March 1, 2017.

Previously, from 2002 until 2017, registered partnerships (Finnish: rekisteröity parisuhde; Swedish: registrerat partnerskap) had been available for same-sex couples, which provided the same rights and responsibilities as marriage for opposite-sex couples, except e.g. adoption rights and the right to a joint last name.

A total of 87 same-sex marriages were performed in the first month, following the entry into force of the law allowing such marriages. In addition, 770 registered partnerships were converted to marriages during that same period.

456 same-sex couples got married between March and August 2017. In addition, 1,122 registered partnerships were converted to marriages during that same period.

Support for same-sex marriage in Finland has grown during the 2000s. A December 2006 EU poll put Finnish support for same-sex marriage at 45%, while an August 2010 survey conducted by Yle, put the support at 54%, with 35% opposing it. In January 2013, a poll conducted by YouGov found that the support had climbed to 57%, with 32% opposed and 12% unsure. In the same survey, support for same-sex adoption was 51%, with 36% opposed and 13% unsure. A March 2013 survey by Taloustutkimus found that 58% of Finns supported same-sex marriage. In March 2014, a follow-up Taloustutkimus survey found a support of 65% with 27% opposing and 8% unsure.

Finland was the last Nordic country to introduce same-sex marriage. Although the change has brought it into alignment with its Nordic neighbors, this represents a significant difference of approach to neighbouring Russia, which has historically exercised influence in Finland's affairs and has been hostile to LGBT rights.

No comments: