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Church resignations hit 7,800 after gay marriage vote

Nearly 8,000 people have resigned from the Lutheran Church since parliament on Friday approved a law allowing same-sex marriages. The Archbishop of Turku and Finland, Kari Mäkinen, had earlier made comments supporting gender-neutral marriage.

Arkkipiispa Kari Mäkinen
Archbishop Mäkinen Image: Yle

The ramifications of Friday’s historic vote to allow gay marriage continue to be felt in Finland’s religious establishment. The Archbishop of Finland Kari Mäkinen had stated his support for the law, and said he “rejoiced” when it passed, and that seems to have caused a spike in resignations from the church.

Between the law’s approval on Friday and midnight on Saturday nearly 7,800 people had resigned from the church via an online service designed to ease the resignation process. That means they will no longer pay church taxes—the main source of revenue for the Lutheran Church in Finland.

According to the comments given to the website, most of the resignations were in protest at Archbishop Mäkinen’s comments.

Christian Democrat leader and Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen said on Saturday that she would continue the fights against the gay marriage legislation.

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