Finland Parlament Member on Trial for Using Biblical Description of Homosexuality

Finnish Christian Democrat MP on trial for hate speech after saying homosexuality is a developmental disorder and a sin.

QUICK FACTS:
  • A government official and former Interior Minister is now on trial for her Christian-based comments on homosexuality.
  • Paivi Rasanen, who has been the nation’s Parliament since 1995, is being taken to task over comments made on three occasions, stretching back as far as 2004, according to The Independent.
  • Charges against the government official were announced in April of 2021 when a state prosecutor said Rasanen’s remarks could fuel intolerance toward homosexuals.
  • Rasanen is facing legal action for the instances, including one where she posted a photo of excerpts from the Bible.
RASANEN RESPONSE TO THE CHARGES:
  • “In all the charges, I deny any wrongdoing. My writings and statements under investigation are linked to the Bible’s teachings on marriage, living as a man and a woman, as well as the Apostle Paul’s teaching on homosexual acts,” she explained according to CBN News. “The teachings concerning marriage and sexuality in the Bible arise from love to one’s neighbor, not from hate towards a group of people.”
  • “According to my knowledge, the court has to for the first time take a stand on whether it is legal or not to cite the Bible,” Räsänen continued.
  • According to The Independent, Rasanen appeared in court on Monday with a Bible in hand saying she was “honored to be defending the freedom of speech and religion.”
BACKGROUND:
  • In addition to a 2004 article where she is accused of making derogatory comments about the LGBT community, she is also being scrutinized for a 2019 radio interview and tweets sent in the same year.
  • She described homosexuality as a “genetic degeneration” in the program broadcast by Finnish public radio station Yle, according to the prosecutor’s case against the lawmaker.