Finland Same-sex Marriage Law Takes Effect

A law that extends marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples in Finland took effect last Wednesday, 1st March 2017.

Members of Finland’s Parliament approved a same-sex marriage bill — which also extended adoption rights to gay and lesbian couples — in 2014.

The Associated Press reported more than 100,000 people signed a petition that demanded lawmakers repeal the law. Finland’s Parliament last month rejected it by 120-48 vote margin.

Seta, a Finnish LGBT advocacy group, applauded the law.

“The equal marriage law means that same-sex couples’ unions are recognized as equivalent to other relationships,” it wrote on its website.

Finland is the last Nordic country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Gays and lesbians can marry in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar.

A law in Slovenia that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples took effect last week.

Slovenian voters in 2015 rejected a law that extended both marriage and adoption rights to gays and lesbians. Lawmakers in the former Yugoslav republic last year approved a revised version of the statute that does not include adoption.