Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

Finland – the gay issue

Posted by Fr Mark on July 23, 2010

Following the recent election of a new Bishop of Helsinki who is open to blessing same-sex couples, serious moves are now afoot to amend Finland’s civil marriage legislation, which will have big implications for its Lutheran Church.

From Helsinki Times, 22.7.10

Justice minister to lead effort to bring same-sex marriage to Finland.

“Finland’s Minister of Justice has announced, her country is working on a measure that would permit same-sex marriage as well as adoption by married same-sex couples in that country and will begin examining how to implement new gender-neutral matrimony laws that would give same-sex couples the same responsibilities and the same rights as heterosexual couple have in Finland.

Finland and Denmark remain the only Nordic countries that have failed to grant full marriage equality status to all of its citizens, but Finnish Justice Minister Tuija Brax pointed out that Finland’s constitution bans discrimination based on gender and said it is essential that everyone be treated equally before the law, regardless of sexual orientation. To make this happen, Brax will lead Finlands efforts in the formulation of a report on reform of matrimony legislation and review how gender-neutral marriages can be adapted to current family law. Four of the five major parties in Finland also support amending current matrimony legislation…”

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