March 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Finland same-sex marriage law takes effect

wedding, marriage, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, marriage equality, gay news, Washington Blade, spousal benefits

A law that extends marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples in Finland took effect on March 1, 2017. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key).

A law that extends marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples in Finland took effect on Wednesday.

Members of Finland’s Parliament approved a same-sex marriage bill — which also extended adoption rights to gay and lesbian couples — in 2014.

The Associated Press reported more than 100,000 people signed a petition that demanded lawmakers repeal the law. Finland’s Parliament last month rejected it by 120-48 vote margin.

Seta, a Finnish LGBT advocacy group, applauded the law.

“The equal marriage law means that same-sex couples’ unions are recognized as equivalent to other relationships,” it wrote on its website.

Finland is the last Nordic country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Gays and lesbians can marry in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar.

A law in Slovenia that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples took effect last week.

Slovenian voters in 2015 rejected a law that extended both marriage and adoption rights to gays and lesbians. Lawmakers in the former Yugoslav republic last year approved a revised version of the statute that does not include adoption.

First lady Melania Trump was born in Slovenia.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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