Finland president signs marriage equality bill, law takes effect in 2017


HELSINKI, Finland — Finland President Sauli Niinistö on Friday signed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in the Nordic country.

FinlandThe signing was an historic occasion because it was the first piece of legislation brought to Parliament as a citizens’ initiative that was approved as the law of the land, reports YLE.

The citizens initiative campaign began in 2013, when marriage equality supporters collected 166,851 signatures, more than three times the 50,000 required by Finnish law to force the parliament to consider the proposal.

On November 28, the Parliament voted 105-92 to support the proposal to legalize same-sex marriage. The initiative was approved in its second reading on December 12.

Because the reform will require wide-ranging changes in other legislation, the new marriage act will not take effect until March 1, 2017.

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