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Gay marriage opponents face uphill committee struggle

Finland’s law allowing same-sex marriage will not be rescinded even though an initiative to cancel the law now has to be considered by parliament—if MPs keep their pre-election promises. A majority of MPs on the legislative committee told Yle before the election that they would not vote to cancel the law.

Sukupuolineutraalin avioliittolain kannattajat kerääntyvät ennen eduskunnan äänestystä 28. marraskuuta Kansalaistorille.
Late last year parliament voted to approve a law allowing same-sex marriage. Image: Yle

On Saturday evening a citizens’ initiative to cancel Finland’s marriage equality law passed the 50,000 threshold for consideration by parliament, but the bill still faces opposition among the committee members who will now decide its fate.

The law will be considered by the government’s constitutional law committee, which had rejected the law in the last parliamentary term—but now has new membership following April’s elections.

The committee’s 17 members were asked their view on the matter as part of Yle’s election machine ahead of April’s vote, and all but two answered. Twelve said that they would vote ‘no’ to any move to rescind the marriage law, while three said they would approve any move to cancel the legislation.

Supporters of equal marriage came from the Green Party, the Swedish People’s Party, the Left Alliance, the Social Democrats, three of four Centre Party MPs, 1 of 3 Finns Party members, and 2 of 3 National Coalition legislators.

Christian Democrat Antero Laukkanen and Laura Huhtisaari and Tom Packalén of the Finns Party said they would seek to overturn the law. Committee chair Kari Tolvanen and Centre MP Antti Rantakangas did not answer the question.

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