A public campaign on gay marriage is forcing Finland's parliament
to reconsider a marriage bill rejected by lawmakers in February.
The proposed marriage bill died on a narrow vote in the
parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee.
But lawmakers must consider any citizens petition that gathers at
least 50,000 valid signatures.
Marriage equality supporters reached that goal on its first day
last March. On Thursday, the petition's last day, organizers of the
“Tahdon2013” (“I Do”) campaign said that they had collected
more than 162,000 signatures in six months.
According to Gay
Star News, organizers also released a survey showing that 58
percent of Finns support marriage equality, while 34 percent remain
Finland, the only Scandinavian country that does not allow gay and
lesbian couples to marry, has recognized the relationships of gay
couples with registered partnerships since 2002. Gay couples are
also allowed to adopt their partner's biological children since 2009.
The Christian newspaper Kotimaa in 2010 reported that a
narrow majority (54%) of Finnish MPs are opposed to the legalization
of gay nuptials.