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Home NATIONALDebate in parliament on same sex marriage bill
Fri, 21 Feb, 2014 12:48:32 AM
Vihreä, Vasemmistoliitto support, Persusuomalaiset opposes
FTimes-STT Report, February 21
Male Couple at Their Home. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Debate among the lawmakers from the treasury bench and opposition took place in the parliament on Thursday during the discussion on the same-sex marriage bill, although it was less intense discussion compared to the previous one.
Parliament started to discuss again the same-sex marriage bill that it rejected once before when placed as a citizen initiative.
The opposition Persusuomalaiset (Finns) opposed the initiative from the traditional understanding of marriage and the interest of next generation.
Other opponents faulted the media and argued that the media is guilty of propagating the idea.
“Gay relations have become a fashion phenomenon. You see on television and magazines continuous fellowship between men and women," said Persusuomalaiset lawmaker Pentti Oinonen while speaking on the issue.
Eila Tiainen of the Vasemmistoliitto (Left Alliance), one of the components of six-party alliance government spoke in favour of the bill pointing out the example of her younger brother which created emotion among the lawmakers.
File photo of Parliament. Photo – Lehtikuva.
She explained how her brother managed a distressing life situation and said that such people should not be denied the right to live their lifestyle.
Jaana Pelkonen of the Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party), biggest component of the alliance government expressed her sympathy to the speech of Vasemmistoliitto lawmaker saying that it was difficult to say anything after listening to Tiainen. Other legislators also rushed to comfort Tiainen. 
Satu Haapanen of Vihreä liito (Green League), another component of the government had spoken of how many young people lived in denial and were faced with a heavy process of seeking approval from others adding that this difficulty has increased the suicide rate among the young people.
The citizen initiative, calling for wider marriage rights including right to same-sex marriage, has collected more than 164,000 signatures.
The last time the bill was discussed in parliament was a year ago when 76 MPs signed the bill; but it faltered when the Legal Affair Committee voted 9-8 to reject the petition.
The Rainbow Families, an association for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their children, expressed hopes that the House would deal with the issue more tactfully this time.
In March 2013, the citizens’ campaign collected 100,000 signatures from people who supported same-sex marriage.
At least 50,000 signatures are needed to introduce a debate in parliament on any issue.
Same sex marriages are recognised in all the Nordic countries except Finland.
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