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Pentecostals expel gay Finns Party politician

An openly bisexual local Finns Party politician cites discrimination in his ousting from a Pentecostal congregation in Oulu.

Sebastian Tynkkynen ja hänen poikaystävänsä Alan Da Silva marraskuussa 2018.
Sebastian Tynkkynen (left) pictured with his boyfriend. The Ouly city councillor is unwaveringly anti-immigrant and an outspoken EU critic. Image: Sebastian Tynkkynen

Oulu's Pentecostal congregation said it ejected Sebastian Tynkkynen because the church and Oulu city councillor held radically different views on marriage.

”It’s because I have a boyfriend,” Tynkkynen said.

Tynkkynen, whose conservative nationalist Finns party staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, is openly bisexual.

The congregation’s pastor, Hannu Orava, told Yle Tynkkynen’s sexual orientation played no role in the decision, though he reiterated the group's stance that marriage is between a man and a woman, saying Tynkkynen was ousted for his public views on matrimony.

Closed groups

”This type of situation could be seen as discriminatory from a human rights viewpoint,” said Pauli Rautiainen, a law professor at the University of Eastern Finland.

Religious worship is excluded from Finland’s non-discrimination act, complicating any legal recourse on the matter, Rautiainen explained.

Joni Valkila who runs a support group for disfellowshipped members of religious communities said churches regularly ostracise people over homosexuality, though he could not provide exact figures.

Tynkkynen, an ex-Finns Party youth leader who was convicted of online hate speech last year, said he wants Pentecostals to engage in a broad debate on sexuality.

”I would like a discussion on whether the Bible has been grossly misinterpreted when it comes to homosexuality,” he explained.

The Equality Ombudsman's office told Yle that while it refrains from commenting on individual cases, it urges anyone who feels they have been the target of discrimination to file a complaint.

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