Members of Finnish Parliament have passed a citizen initiative to legalize same-sex marriage after a close vote where 105 members voted for, while 92 voted against.
The legislation gives same-sex couples equal rights to adopt children.
Before the vote, Finnish PM Alexander Stubb said that the vote was about “a question of human rights, gender equality and equality.”
Tony Soini, leader of the populist Finns Party, whose party opposed changing the definition said in a debate Thursday that he was “very hopeful that marriage will remain a union between a man and a woman as it should and as my own position holds.”
Finnish broadcaster YLE reports that Archbishop of Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran church, Kari Mäkinen, “rejoiced” after Friday’s vote allowing same-sex marriage. In a Facebook post, the Bishop wrote: “I know how much this day means to the rainbow community, their loved ones and many others. I rejoice with my whole heart for them and with them.” He also said that the Finnish “concept of marriage needs a fundamental examination. Speaking for myself, I think it is time for reconsideration. It will take place from the standpoint of the church’s own principles.”
Finland is the last Nordic country to legalize same-sex marriage. LGBT couples have been able to enter into registered partnerships since 2002.
Map of Northern European LGBT status
Same Sex All Europe