Same-sex marriage law goes into effect in Finland

Starting today, on March 1, same-sex marriage became legal in Finland. Same sex couples also gained the legal right to adopt children. According to a Local Register Office's figures some 41 couples across the country are scheduled to marry this week.

Naispari suutelee.
Image: AOP

The Local Register Office of western Finland, which collected data from across the country, says that some 41 same sex couples plan to get married this week. Same-sex marriage became officially legal in Finland on Wednesday.

Maria Lunabbas, who works as a notary public at the Local Register Office in western Finland, says there are fewer same sex couples getting married this week than she had expected.

Lunabbas said that some regional register offices around the country told her that they hadn't received a single same sex marriage notification for this week.

Back in November 2014, gay rights activists and same-sex marriage supporters celebrated the approval of gender-neutral marriage laws by Finnish Parliament.

Pivotal citizens' initiative

The legislation was also a pivotal moment for participatory democracy in Finland, as the law was started as a citizens' initiative to legally recognise marriage for same-sex couples.

Even though same sex marriage was approved by MPs in 2014, a separate citizens' initiative petitioned by conservative activists was presented to Finnish lawmakers just weeks before the law was to go into effect.

But that initiative was thrown out and Finland now counts itself among the 22 countries of the world where it is legal for same sex couples to get married.

Registered partnerships became legal in 2002.

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