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.