February 25, 2015

February 25, 2015
Finland's Citizens Successfully Rally To Enact
Marriage Equality

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far.

One of the topics I have been blogging about for years is marriage equality. I just received some great news about Finland and marriage equality that I would like to blog about today.

Finland officially became the last Nordic nation to establish marriage equality after its president signed a bill that came into fruition through a citizen-led campaign.

Finnish President Sauli NiinistŲ signed the bill Friday, after Parliament passed the legislation in November 2014 with a narrow 105 to 92 vote, according to U.K. LGBT outlet Gay Star News. The law will take effect and allow same-sex couples to have equal marriage rights and privileges by March 2017.

In addition to Finland becoming one of the few countries in the world to recognize the freedom to marry, the law is also the first of its kind to ever be passed by the Finnish government through a citizenís initiative, according to Finnish news site YLE.

While same-sex couples have been able to legally register their relationships with the Finnish government since 2002, a mass of supporters celebrated outside Parliament walls as soon as the historic proposal was passed. Finland joins its Nordic neighbors Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, as well as other European nations like France, Spain, Portugal, Belguim, and England as countries that extend marriage rights to all couples regardless of gender, according to U.S. advocacy group Freedom to Marry.

"This was a very large and unique campaign, it was the first citizen's movement," Aija Salo of National Seta, one of Finlandís most well-known LGBT groups, told Gay Star News. "The public spoke. It is very important to a lot of people personally and also symbolically, and people are very happy."

Hopefully, the United States will also be one of the countries where marriage equality exists for everyone. Have a beary safe and great Wednesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab