The Finnish Parliament voted on Friday afternoon to allow gender-neutral marriage, 105-92. The vote had been expected to be closer.
The gender-neutral marriage bill was seventh on the list of 15 votes. Four MPs out of the 200 MPs were absent on the first vote, concerning a reform of language laws, and two on the second vote, on car taxation. The third vote, on child subsidies, was also a vote of confidence in the government - which survived by a margin of 100-97. Only two MPs out of the 200 MPs were absent.
The unprecedented outcome marks the first time that a citizens' initiative has received lawmakers' blessing to be written into the law books. It also allows Finland to finally catch up with its Nordic peers, all of which have already legalised gay marriage.
Sweet triumph for supporters
The result was a sweet triumph for the thousands of supporters of marriage equality who gathered around the Parliament this afternoon. Many of them waved rainbow-coloured flags and banners. Shouts of "I do!" - the battle cry of the movement - echoed through the streets. Opponents of the measure also turned out for the session, but found themselves vastly outnumbered.