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Räsänen vows to challenge same-sex marriage decision

The Interior Minister and leader of the Christian Democrats says that her party still has a chance to oppose Friday's decision by MPs to legalise gender-neutral unions, as the law change will require a further bill to be passed in the next parliament. Räsänen also attacked Prime Minister Alexander Stubb for publicly supporting gay marriage prior to Friday's vote.

Sisäministeri Päivi Räsänen.
Sisäministeri Päivi Räsänen. Image: Yle

The Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen has vowed that her Christian Democrats party will make further challenges against a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in the course of the next parliament, despite MPs voting yesterday in favour of the measure.

Appearing at a party gathering in Vantaa, Räsänen said her party still has the chance to oppose a further bill which will need to be passed after the next election in order to finalise the change to the statute.

Räsänen said the Christian Democrats will again oppose the law change when the issue comes up in the next parliamentary term.

On Friday MPs voted in favour of legalising same-sex unions by 105 to 92. The bill originally appeared before parliament after a petition calling for marriage equality gained more than the required 50,000 signatures under the government’s “citizens’ initiative” programme. The vote marks the first time that a citizens’ initiative has received MPs’ backing in a parliamentary vote.

Not representative

However, speaking on Saturday, Päivi Räsänen also attacked Prime Minister Alexander Stubb for speaking out in support of same-sex marriage in a media interview prior to the vote. Räsänen claimed that Stubb’s remarks were not representative of the views of everyone in the four-party coalition, and suggested it was not impossible that his intervention could have swung the result.

“The NCP’s liberal-minded MPs ultimately determined the outcome of this vote, and I can’t say or guess how significant an impact the prime minister’s clarion call had on the result,” she said.

Friday’s decision to legalise same-sex unions has proven extremely divisive. In the hours following the vote, it emerged that 2,600 Finnish Lutherans resigned from the church after its leader, Archbishop Kari Mäkinen, praised the outcome of the MPs’ vote.

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