FINLAND: Petition Forces Parliament To Reconsider Same-Sex Marriage Vote
A petition in Finland has gathered enough signatures to force parliament to debate reversing the gender-neutral marriage law it passed in November last year. The petition, started by the Association for Real Marriage, reached the required 50,000 signatures at 6pm on Sunday (19 July), Finland’s national broadcaster Yle reported. Under the terms of the citizens’ initiative scheme, the petition still had 2 and a half months to collect signatures. It will now be passed to Finland’s Population Register Center to verify that they are genuine.RELATED: The European Union currently has 28 members. Same-sex marriage is legal in twelve of them: Belgium, Denmark, Finland (effective 2017), France, Ireland (effective later this year) Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia (effective date pending), Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland.) Civil unions are legal in seven EU nations: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia (effective 2016), Germany, Hungary, and Malta. No partnership recognitions exist in nine EU nations: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. Non-EU member Norway legalized same-sex marriage in 2009.