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Finnish Parliament votes down bid to repeal same-sex marriage

A citizens’ initiative to void Finland’s gender-neutral marriage law was rejected on the parliamentary floor on Friday by a 120 to 48 vote. The initiative to keep marriage between a man and woman gained over 100,000 signatures.

Video: Äänestystulos 120-48 äänestystaululla eduskunnan täysistunnossa Helsingissä perjantaina 17. helmikuuta 2017.
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Finnish MPs defeated a bill to strike down same-sex marriage on February 17. Opposition to the proposal was strong, as 120 parliamentarians voted against it, with 48 in support. Two members of parliament voted absent and 29 MPs did not cast a vote.

A Finnish movement called Aito avioliitto (True Marriage) that seeks to uphold marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the law, was the instigator of the citizens’ initiative.  After six months of active campaigning, the group gathered over 100,000 signatures by the September 29 deadline last autumn. 

The Finnish Parliament approved a new law granting the same legal rights and protections to same-sex couples in December 2014. This law too originated with a citizens' initiative - the first and last so far to become a law since citizens’ initiatives were taken into use in Finland in 2012.

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