Finnish gay rights hall of fame, shame and extra shame

by , under Enrique Tessieri

As the winding history of Finland’s first same-sex marriage law is being written, there’s already a hall of fame and shame from February 2013. As everyone knows, the citizens’ initiative for same-sex marriage was defeated Tuesday in the legal affairs committee of parliament by a vote of 10-6.

Even if those 10 who voted against the citizens’ initiative still believe that the world stands still and moves to the beat of their morality, there are two others that have the dubious honor of being in the hall of extra shame: Social Democrat MPs Mikael Jungner and Arja Juvonen of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party.

MP Suna Kymäläinen, a Social Democrat, wasn’t present at the voting because she came down with the flu on Tuesday morning and there’s wan’t time to get a substitute for her.

Green Party MP Oras Tynkkynen, who is a member of the legal affairs committee, wrote on a blog that the voting would have been much closer if the two Social Democrats would have been present.

PS MP Juvonen has gone on the record favoring same-sex marriage but wasn’t present to vote at the legal affairs committee.

Juvonen wrote on a blog that she intentionally chose not to attend the meeting because the PS’ and her stand over same-sex marriage are different.

“That’s why there was a substitute [at the meeting] that voted and took to the committee the party’s [official negative] stand [on same-sex marriage] because I couldn’t have done it.”

Wow, so here’s an PS MP who told voters before she was elected that she supports same-sex marriage but couldn’t vote on such an intiative because the party’s chairman, Timo Soini, keeps his MPs on a short leash.

Näyttökuva 2014-6-26 kello 15.17.05
 From left to right: MPs who voted for the same-sex initiative, those who voted against, and those who were absent.


Jungner denies that he was at a bar when the voting took place.

The same-sex citizens’ initiative will be voted in the fall by parliament.


* 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. 

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