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Helsinki Pride invite NCP, Centre youth wings after initial snub

The LGBTQ+ organisation was previously unwilling to partner with the NCP and Centre Party, citing the way the parties' MPs voted on changes to Finland's transgender legislation earlier this year.

Pride flag on Helsinki's shopping mall Forum.
Pride flag hung in front of Helsinki's shopping mall Forum in celebration of Pride month. Image: Aalto Puutio / Yle
Yle News

Helsinki's Pride committee has partially backtracked on its decision to leave the National Coalition Party and Centre Party out of this year's festivities, by formally inviting the youth wings of the two parties.

The youth wings of the Centre Party and NCP as well as the NCP-affiliated group Kansallinen Sateenkaariryhmä (translated as National Rainbow Group) have now confirmed their partnership with Helsinki Pride. The student union of NCP, Tuhatkunta, has also received an invitation but is yet to confirm its participation.

The pride parade has expanded in recent years with companies and political parties joining to declare their support for LGBTQ+ communities.

Finnish news outlets reported last week however, that the committee no longer welcomed the two political parties, NCP and Centre Party, to its events due to the positions some party MPs took on the trans law reform passed in February.

Centre Party and NCP MPs were allowed to vote freely on the reform - rather than according to a united party line - as a "matter of individual conscience." Some 10 NCP and 13 Centre Party MPs voted against the law change.

Justifying its most recent decision, Helsinki Pride wrote in a press release that the organisation is politically non-partisan and that it operates based on values.

"We sincerely appreciate [the groups'] longstanding work in advancing human rights. We have more common goals than divisive ones. Now, if ever, is the time to continue working together, towards common goals," the release reads.

The organisation added that while it is not common policy to explicitly invite partners, current circumstances warranted an exception.

"We want to emphasise that all our partners, community members and allies, regardless of party affiliation or stance, are welcome to the parade and Pride events. We are committed to promoting good manners and sharing them with our participants and partners. This has been the case in the past, is the case now, and will continue to be the case in the future," Pride Helsinki wrote.

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