Finnish Politician Under Homophobia Investigation After Citing the Bible

By Victor Westerkamp

A Finnish politician is under criminal pre-investigation for incitement of homophobia because she cited the Bible while questioning why the state church should partake in the Helsinki Gay Pride.

“How can the church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, fit with elevating sin and shame as reasons for pride?” Finnish Christian Democrat MP and former interior minister Päivi Räsänen wrote on her Facebook Page on June 17.

Her remarks came after the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which she and about 3.8 million people (69 percent) of the Finnish population adhere to, expressed its plans to become an official partner in the upcoming Helsinki Pride festivities in June.

In her post, she shared a picture of the bible, showing Rom. 1:24-27, in which homosexuality is deemed as sinful.

Her citing the Bible apparently gave enough grounds to launch a pre-trial investigation on Räsänen, on suspected incitement against sexual and gender minorities, because she could have offended members of the LGBTQ community.

But despite all the commotion, Räsänen remained calm and wrote to her Twitter account on Aug. 13, “I am not concerned on my part, as I trust this will not move on to the prosecutor. However, I am concerned if quoting the Bible is considered even ‘slightly’ illegal. I hope this won’t lead to self-censorship among Christians. Rom. 1:24-27.”

After she was labeled homophobic, she replied to Twitter, “It is not right to label Christian conviction as phobia.”

“The pre-trial investigations have not yet been completed. Police will provide more details once the investigations have been completed or presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges,” Pekka Hätönen, the officer at Helsinki Police Department in charge of the investigations stated.

Fellow MPs, Social Democrat Hussein Al-Taee and Finn’s Party member Juha Mäenpää, are also under pre-trial investigation, but in this case on suspicion of incitement of racism or antisemitism charges.