Finland Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
"Feeling proud to be Finnish."
Finland has become the 12th European nation to give same-sex unions the same legal status as heterosexual marriage after the country's Parliament narrowly voted in favor of the move on Friday.
The vote passed with 105 members for and 92 against.
Prior to the vote, Finland was the last Nordic country not to have legalized same-sex marriage, although same-sex couples have been able to enter into registered partnerships since 2002.
The vote has ended the legal distinction in between same-sex unions and heterosexual marriages in Finland. All couples in the country will all have equal rights to adopt children and share a surname, The Guardian reported.
After the vote, Finland's Prime Minister Alexander Stubb embraced the country's first openly gay, black MP, Jani Toivola.
In an open letter before the vote, Stubb said: "Finland should strive to become a society where discrimination does not exist, human rights are respected and two adults can marry regardless of their sexual orientation."
Those against marriage equality had argued that children had a right to be brought up by a mother and father. Before the vote, Nationalist Finns politician Mika Niiko said: "This is a question of the future of our children and the whole society, and such changes should not be made without thorough evaluation of their impact," the Guardian reported.