Archbishop of Finland supports same-sex marriages

When the current government was formed in Finland a few years back, the Christian Democrats demanded that it would not propose any legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry, or the party would not participate in the government. The other parties agreed to this.
Therefore, MPs from the other parites tried to introduce a motion to legalize same-sex marriages. This failed, however, since the motion didn't gain the necessary support; only 76 of the 200 MPs signed the motion.
As a consequence, a citizen's motion was created. If 50 000 signatures are gathered, such a motion could be discussed in Parliament. When this motion was introduced on 19 March on the home page of the Ministry of Justice, it gathered the necessary signatures in less than one day - the first such motion ever to collect enough signatures. At 11:47 today, a week later, the motion had been signed by 138 226 citizens. The motion will remain on the home pages for six months, and the Ministry will then take it to Parliament for discussions.

Archbishop Kari Mäkinen
The Archbishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Kari Mäkinen, appeared this morning on the TV channel MTV3 and gave his support to the proposed legislation about same-sex marriages.
"I think it is an important goal, and I hope that equality will be achieved in this," Mäkinen said in the programme Huomenta Suomi (Good morning Finland). "Within the church, marriage has traditionally meant a covenant between a man and a woman. The present discussion creates a dicsussion within the church as well, where the foundations of the concept of marriage are evaluated. I see in this discussion an immensly positive will to relate to every human being equally."

The proposed legislation would not compel the churches to perform same-sex marriages.

Update: Later the same day, the Archbishop denied that he had taken a stand on the legislation, saying he talked about "treating people and their relationships equally." Helsingin Sanomat published the comment.

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