In the U.S., we've been watching the new Trump administration closely in these first 100 days and taking note as to which policies and practices of the Obama administration The Donald has chosen to roll back.
Finland had its own scare in regard to an LGBT policy passed by a previous parliament in 2014. The law was first introduced to the Finnish Parliament through a citizen initiative in December 2013, called 'Tahdon', meaning 'I do' in Finnish, that gathered the support of 160,000 people. The policy which passed with a 101 to 90 vote, will give marriage equality to same-sex couples and allow them to adopt as well as share a last name is scheduled to come to be law on March 1, 2017. Same-sex registered partnerships were allowed since 2002 and Finland was the last Scandinavian country to allow same-sex marriages.
One final push to derail the 2014 success came in the form of a "Genuine Marriage" petition which collected more than 100,000 signatures, twice the number necessary to secure a debate in parliament. The main reason the petition was formed was the argument that a child needs to have both a mother and a father.
The 100k signatures solidified a debate in parliament yesterday (Thursday) with petition supporters hoping that same-sex marriage could be repealed before it became law in two weeks.
Would the debate amount to anything? And how long would the debate last? Not only did parliament schedule a debate for Thursday, but they also scheduled a formal vote for today, Friday. Although the new parliament elected in 2015 has a more conservative make-up, many lawmakers are opposed in principle to revising recent decisions.
So how did the vote turn out today? With a majority of 120 to 48 votes, the parliament sided with the gender-neutral legislation that will end the distinction between same-sex unions and heterosexual marriages.
Love is Love. Congrats Finland for remaining strong. We cannot wait to celebrate with you on March 1st!