Finland: the last Nordic country to approve same-sex marriage

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      Same-sex marriage has been legalized in all Nordic countries.

      Finland is the last Nordic country to approve the legalization of same-sex marriage (joining Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) and is the twelfth European state to do so.

      On Friday (November 28), Finnish parliament voted 105 in favour to 92 opposed—a narrow victory for the equality movement, following a public petition that gathered 167,000 signatures.

      Since 2002, Finnish same-sex couples have been able to enter registered partnerships. They will now be able to have the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples, including adopting children and sharing a surname.

      In an open letter, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb stated: "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."

      The proposal is expected to be enacted in law by the end of 2015. It will become the 20th country in the world to do so.

      The move contrasts with Finland's neighbour Russia, which has made headlines and sparked international controversy for its antigay legislation.

      The Netherlands was the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage in 2001.