Gay Rights in Finland

Stunning sun rays shining through trees in a foggy forest. Vanajaveden laakso. Aulanko, Hameenlinna, Finland. Milamai/Getty Images

For anyone planning to travel to another country, knowing the environment in which they will spend their time is important. This is especially true for gay travelers in Scandinavia. Gay rights in Finland are therefore something worth researching on if you intend to travel to the beautiful country.

Firstly, it is worth noting that Finland's gay rights have evolved quite a bit over a period of years. Homosexuality in Finland has been legalized since 1971 though it was actually in 1981 when it was declassified as being an illness. The legislation in Finland also criminalizes any discrimination based on the sexual orientation of an individual. In 2005, discrimination against one's gender identity was criminalized.

It was actually in 2002 when registered partnerships were legalized in this beautiful country. Congrats, Finland! This legalization of homosexuality gave and still gives same sex couples in Finland a wide range of rights. However, the rights that gay people enjoyed as from 2002 limited their rights to adoption as well as a surname. Since 2002, a clamor for more rights accorded to same-sex couples by the Finnish public has risen. In 2009, for example, same-sex couples could begin enjoying stepchild adoption rights.

Registered partnerships in Finland are more like civil marriages and follow the same procedure of registration and even dissolution. A party to the partnership also enjoys immigration rights. Even with the differences in opinion both in Parliament and the public at large, opinion polls and surveys conducted in Finland indicate that the support for same-sex marriages is increasing. Gay rights also make it possible for anyone to change their legal gender under Finnish law.

Apart from this, if you are gay and live in Finland, you can even join the military if you wish.

I and many others definitely believe that the beautiful country of Finland is currently one of the most gay-friendly travel destinations you can hope to visit in Europe. If you are planning a vacation in Europe, Finland is a must-see, especially if you want to enjoy it in the company of your partner - actually, no matter whether your partner is of the same gender as you or not. This land of the 200,000 lakes is a hub for those same-sex couples who want to have fun without being discriminated upon.

It makes for a refreshingly modern travel destination.

Finnish cities have LGBT organizations for gay people and you can get help from them. You can also go and enjoy a local gay pride event. Finland provides an open-minded atmosphere and environment for gay or lesbian tourists and locals alike.​

While traveling in Finland, you and your partner can do things which any normal couple does. Holding hands and kissing is alright and you should not be afraid of someone throwing insults at you. There are various hotels, saunas and night clubs in the cities of Finland where you can have a good time. There should be no reason to be afraid of adverse treatment at any place.

You can also take a cruise in Finland with gay friends or your partner as there are hotels which organize such fun activities for their visitors.

There are also many hangout zones for gay and lesbian couples all over Finland. Some of the best ones are located in Helsinki and they attract both gay fun-lovers and heterosexuals as well. Helsinki is next to Tallinn and Stockholm, therefore, making it a vibrant venue for gay life in Finland.

Wherever you choose to spend your vacation in Finland, rest assured that your experience will be the best.