Finland legalizes gay marriage


The Finnish Parliament has just narrowly passed a bill to legalize gay marriage by 105 votes to 92.

Finland is the last of the Nordic countries to legalize same-sex marriage, although gay couples have been able to enter registered partnerships since 2002.

Ahead of the vote, thousands of protestors both for and against the proposed gender-neutral marriage law gathered outside the Parliament building in Helsinki to make their feelings known. Demonstrators in favor of the bill greatly outnumbered those against it. A carnival atmosphere prevailed.

When the result was announced, YLE reports that many of those outside hugged and cried with joy and joined together in a cry of ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’

The vote was previously expected to be very close, so the 105-92 victory was wider than anticipated. Only two of Finland’s 200 MPs were absent from the vote.

Finland’s Parliamentary websites temporarily crashed after the results of the vote were announced.

Finnish politicians and members of the public quickly took to Twitter to celebrate the result.

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Denver Showed It Had the Light Stuff a Century Ago, With the First Christmas Tree | Westword

Reporter Pinky Wayne - 1914

Denver Showed It Had the Light Stuff a Century Ago, With the First Christmas Tree | Westword.

On Christmas Eve 1914, ten-year-old David Jonathan Sturgeon was in bed at his home at 4408 West 34th Avenue in Denver, too sick to go downstairs and join his family around the Christmas tree. David Dwight “D.D.” Sturgeon, a pioneering Denver electrician, decided to cheer up his son, so he dipped lightbulbs in red and green paint, connected them to electrical wire, and hung them in a pine tree outside David’s window, brightening his holiday and inspiring people from miles away to come marvel at the sight of the illuminated tree. Although there had been a few earlier outdoor decorating attempts around the country, they dimmed compared to the glowing reports provided by Denver Post reporter Pinky Wayne, and enthusiastic city boosters of a century ago were soon touting this as the first illuminated outdoor Christmas tree. The next year, Sturgeon neighbors decorated their trees, too, and the tradition lived on. (Sadly, young David did not; he succumbed to a different illness.) …