The Parliament of Finland on Wednesday
began debating a bill which would legalize gay marriage in the Nordic
country, EFE reported.
Since 2002, Finland has recognized gay
and lesbian couples with registered partnerships.
The legislation would allow gay couples
to enter a civil marriage, take the surname of the other spouse and
adopt a partner's children without biological links.
Seventy-six of the 200 members of
parliament have so far signed on to the proposed law.
Two parties, the ultra-nationalist True
Finns and the Christian Democrats, which is led by Interior Minister
Paivi Rasanen, have rejected the plan outright.
Political groups may propose amendments
to the bill after it returns from processing in the Legal Affairs
According to an August 2010 poll, a
majority of Finns (54%) support marriage equality, while 35 percent
The Christian newspaper Kotimaa
in 2010 reported that a narrow majority (54%) of Finnish MPs are
opposed to the legalization of gay marriage.
If approved, Finland would become the
11th country to approve such unions, behind Argentina,
Belgium, Canada, Spain, Holland, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, South
Africa and Sweden.
are also debating the issue.