Same-sex marriage has been approved by the Finnish Parliament by a vote of 105-92, prompting a widespread departure from the state-backed Lutheran Church.
“Finland should strive to become a society where discrimination does not exist, human rights are respected and two adults can marry regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Alexander Stubb, the country’s prime minister, in an open letter before the vote. He is described as “center-right” by the website.
By Saturday evening — one day after the vote was held, according to RT — 7,800 people had resigned from the Church citing comments from the Archbishop of Turku and Finland, Kari Mäkinen, as the motivating factor.
On his Facebook, the church leader had this to say.
“I know how much this day means for rainbow people, their loved ones and many others. I rejoice with my whole heart for them and with them…. We are in the same situation as our neighboring Nordic Churches: our concept of marriage needs a fundamental examination. Speaking for myself, I think it is time for reconsideration.”
Finland is now the 12th European nation to allow same-sex marriage, but as the reaction of now-former Church members shows, it continues to face opposition.
In a separate report from Huffington Post, the opposition had its say.
“This is a question of the future of our children and the whole society, and such changes should not be made without thorough evaluation of their impact,” said Mika Niikko of the nationalist Finns party, adding that every child should have the right to one father and one mother.
Some HuffPo commenters took exception to this.
“Now, what about the positive evaluations made in the countries where marriage equality has been a reality for many years?” said one. “And how can you evaluate something if you don’t allow it to happen? Those bigots — be here, be in Finland — never learn!”
What do you think of the Finnish Parliament’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, readers? Furthermore, what of the close to 8,000 who resigned from the Church, which derives much of its tax money from members?
Do you think the backlash against same-sex marriage will have much effect on the Finnish coffers? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
[Image via ShutterStock]