Student and youth organisations: Love, human rights and an equal marriage law

Statement 29 June 2012

Student and youth organisations: Love, human rights and an equal marriage law

The student and youth organisations will participate in the Helsinki Pride Parade on Saturday 30 June. The organisations wish to remind of everyone’s right to be themselves and the right also to be happy in who they are.

“The theme for Helsinki Pride this year is ‘space’. We want space for everyone to be able to realise themselves. We want everyone to have the freedom to be themselves and spaces where diversity can flourish as freely as possible. Spaces where diversity is respected are spaces that are safe for everyone,” the presidents of the organisations remind us.

The organisations have apprehensively followed the developments in some other countries, which have been in a direction that tramples human rights.

For instance, the Saint Petersburg ban on homosexual “propaganda” or the Prides in the Baltic countries, where participants have to march under police protection in fear of violence, paint a sad picture of the atmosphere in our neighbouring countries.

“We must turn this development around. Human rights are not conditional. We support students in other countries in their work for the human rights of sexual and gender minorities. Finland and the European Union must be ready to highlight the rights of sexual and gender minorities in discussions both within Europe as well as more generally in foreign policy,” demand the presidents.

“Although we may march in relative peace in Finland, the situation is not ideal here either. People are still being disadvantaged on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Finland is the only Nordic country where love is not equal. Therefore, we encourage Parliament to move on the legislative motion for an equal, gender-neutral, marriage act as soon as possible. From the perspective of human rights and equality, there is only one acceptable course of action regarding the motion: passing it,” the presidents conclude.

Finlands Svenska Skolungdomsförbund FSS, president Anna Ingman, 044 2778 669
Keskustan opiskelijaliitto, vicepresident Jirka Hakala, 044 0579 995
Liberal Students LSK, president Matias Kallio, 040 8423 928
Svensk Ungdom rf, president Niklas Mannfolk, 044 3714 176
Social Democratic Youth, president Joona Räsänen, 050 5475 590
Sosialidemokraattiset Opiskelijat SONK ry, president Sarita Niemi, 045 112 9299
Suomen Ammattiin Opiskelevien Liitto – SAKKI ry, president Aleksej Fedotov, 040 9618 847
The Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences – SAMOK, president Elin Blomqvist, 050 3891 000
Suomen Opiskelija-Allianssi OSKU ry, president Jenni Parpala, 044 9990 354
The National Union of University Students in Finland SYL, president Jarno Lappalainen, 044 906 5007 Vasemmistonuoret ry, president Li Andersson, 040 5088 697
Vasemmisto-opiskelijat ry, president Milla Jurva, 040 5496 038
Federation of Green Youth and Students – ViNO, presidents Aleksi Laine, 040 527 0454 & Hanna Hakko, 050 3040 180

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