Not long ago the Finnish parliament voted about a proposal for marriage equality. It went through, though just barely. Both socialist parties and the Green party were all for it. The ruling conservative party was divided in the middle, the protest party of “True” Finns and the minute Christian Democratic party were totally against.

The arguments for and against in the parliament echoed the arguments presented in the wider social discussion about the issue. The pro marriage equality arguments claimed that this is a human rights issue and a question about fairness. The arguments against were about how a god might get upset at Finns and how unnatural gay sex is and of course how children deserve a mommy and a daddy. The law proposal, naturally, incorporated a legalization of adoption by homosexual couples.

There was a big cry out about Russia no longer giving children to be adopted to Finland at all, as they have banned adoption to Sweden because of marriage equality laws over there.

Soon after the vote there was a compromize proposal by the Finnish president Sauli Niinistö of the “Kansallinen Kokoomus” the ruling conservative party, wich by the way sports very liberal economic values and is not so conservative about the preservation of the Finnish society in regards to government owning in big business, or the wellfare state for that matter. Sauli proposed, that only people who were wed in a church could be henceforth be called married and that everybody else should be called living in a “pair relationship” or a “couple relationship”. This idea, or more like a brainfart, lost me all of the respect I ever had for him. If his childish proposal would step into action, my parents marriage of nearly sixty years (before the passing of my dad) and my very own marriage to my wife would be rendered into “pair relationships.

Now, of course, if me and my wife would get the same legal benefits as the married in church couples, the only negative side to this would be the social value of my marriage being obviously degrated by a made up terminology, that would at the same time set the unions of the homosexuals at not much better place than they were before the vote (exept for the adoption rights). Not so serious defeat to me. But unfair none the less. I can not help, but to wonder, how Sauli was unable to realize how stupid and not a compromise his idea was. I have been together with my wife through ups and downs for over twenty years. Who has the right to rename our union from the outside? It is as if Sauli did not realize that the very point of equality laws in general is to lessen the evil of segragation within a society.

Now, of course, what Sauli was doing, was only “making good” to his “promises” during the presidential elections, when he first introduced this idea of his. It was a bit underhanded policy to attack the “weak spot” of his main opponent Pekka Haavisto of the Green Party, who is an openly homosexual man. Niinistö won by a narrow marginal, but in his campaign he used this idea of his about the “pair relationship” to insiniuate, that as a president he would somehow be in a position to stop the marriage equality law from passing, wich is of course false, but no doubt it was meant to and did appeal to the sort of conservative voters, whom one would expect to have voted for him anyway – just to stop a green homosexual from being chosen as the president. As if Sauli had to remind the voters of the sexual orientation of his opponent and like that should have even been an issue in the elections. I thought it was sorry of him then, but somehow now reminding us of his folly of a compromize that would not satisfy anybody (not anyone at the opposite ends of this issue anyway) and that he possibly can not make good for his “promises” because the presidential position is more of a symbolic leader, than actual political power weilding dictator, like in some other countries – best left unnamed here…

 

If someone has a problem of having their marriage being called by the same name as homosexuals, after these have been added to the people who can be married and get the same legal benefits and reverence of any other married people, let those people with the problem then change the name they use for their marriage. The problem is theirs. Inside their heads, so why should anyone else be moved by it? I do not care, if they call it the heterosexual marriage, traditional marriage, church marriage, or what ever. I would rather that people would not build such lines of segragation within any society, but if people want to segragate themselves, then that is their problem not the people who want to be equally included into the society. Right? In Finland we have had civil marriages for our entire indipendend history and they have been called marriages. Nothing else. Would Sauli really want to be remembered as the president who took that right away because religious people got upset about homosexuals being added to the same category as the rest of us in civil marriage? I do not see how the equal marriage issue even has anything to do with the religious lives of others, when we are talking about the civil marriage as accepted by the state – a legal contract between two individuals regardless of their religious affiliations, not marriages set in church by the authority of imaginary entities. The Finnish religious communities still have legally every chance to segragate homosexuals and whom ever they want to frown upon from their services. The civil marriage as set by the state has nothing at all to do with the religious lives of anybody.

I have heard some of moaning about how our society is already equal enough and how it is unfair towards the Christians, that they are not allowed to follow their conscience, that tells them ostracising homosexuals is what their god expects of them. However, I am not at all sorry to say, that it is not at all unfair, to make the society even more equal and that if a person has conscience, religion, or ideology, that tells them to oppress other people by their origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation, it gives them none what so ever ethical justification to do so.

After the descision of the parliament thousands of people have left the Finnish Lutheran church, because archibishop Kari Mäkinen tweeted that he was happy about our society moving in a more equal direction. These religious fundamentalists have done so through an internet service put up by some Finnish atheists. A service, that was highly critiqued by the same Christian conservatives, for making leaving the church too easy, as before it was set up one had to go to the local parish to fill in forms and explain why one no longer wanted to be the member of the church. A degrading process by all means. By leaving the official state Lutheran church, the fundies who have now left the church would have rendered themselves unable to get married and only be able to achieve the same status for their union as the homosexuals and other people married by the state and not the church, if the proposal of the president went through. Ridiculous…

It seems our archibishop is more enlightened and humane, than our president. I am surprised. Now, as a final point to the ridiculous of the religious right anti equality movement, someone has laid a complaint about the archibishop, to the diocese, that he has not presented the faith he is supposed to present. I do not know of whom are they talking about. Their god or the church, but the committee that examines this is led by the archibishop himself and consists of bishops who appointed him in the first place and he does set the policies of the church. I guess he can raise his considerable salary (at least twice as much money as an average parliamentary representative) to examine himself and policies laid out by himself. What a mess.

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