Most parish candidates in favour of gay unions

The majority of candidates in the parish elections for the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church support gay relationships, according to a new survey.

A candidate test was carried out this week on the Church homepage in order to vet applicants for the upcoming elections. The survey, which enables voters to choose a suitable runner for their parish, jammed after opening on Monday due to unexpected demand.

In the online examination, 72 percent of respondents said they were in support of the Church holding prayer vigils for same sex couples. A further 48 percent said they were also in favour of blessing gay couples and gay marriage.

In total, 7,800 entrants were asked about the controversial issue which is thought to have drawn increased attention to the parish elections following a heated YLE TV debate about gay rights last week. A record number of Finns resigned from the church within 24 hours of the show’s airing.

Advanced voting begins next week before the election proper in three weeks’ time.

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