Finland will vote Friday on the long-overdue bill that would make marriage legal between same-sex couples. A lot rides on tomorrow’s vote. In many respects, the outcome of Friday’s vote shows Finland to be at an important crossroads.
Some analysts see the passage of the same-sex marriage bill not only as a victory for gays but for all minorities in Finland.
At present, the social construct of the so-called white, heterosexual Finn is being seriously challenged by tomorrow’s vote as well as by our ever-growing cultural diversity.
According to political observers, the vote is still too close to call.
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The debate on same-sex marriage has divided Finland. Even so, Evangelical Church of Finland Archbishop Kari Mäkinen said this week he supports granting homosexual couples the right to marriage.
It’s highly probable that the historic vote Friday would not be a cliff hanger if it weren’t for the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* which are betting much of their political capital against the bill.
In 2011 the PS won their historic parliamentary election victory by gaining 39 seats in parliament from 5 previously. Their election victory was based on hostility and mistrust of the EU, immigrants, refugees, cultural diversity and homosexuals.
Friday’s vote will reveal a lot of things. One is whether we are a closed or open-minded society.
The closed society, supported by the PS, is outright hostile to minorities and keeps such groups excluded by building fences of mistrust with the help of myths.
The open-minded society is the new face of Finland in this century that cannot be stopped. That face and landscape comprises of minorities with equal rights.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.