social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in The Arts
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
New Queer Cinema
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
White, Minor
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
Surrealism Surrealism
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Winfield, Paul
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Topics In the News
Openly Gay Finnish Leader in Run-off for Presidency
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 01/23/12
Last updated on: 02/05/12
Bookmark and Share

Pekka Haavisto (right) with partner Antonio Flores in a 2010 television interview (YouTube video still).

As a result of the first round of the Finnish presidential election on January 22, 2012, Pekka Haavisto, openly gay leader of the Green League, will face Sauli Niinistö of the National Coalition Party in the February 5, 2012 run-off. With 100% of the votes tallied, Niinistö, the favorite, received 37% of the vote and Haavisto 19%, with the remainder split between six other candidates.

The outcome of the first round is seen as a rebuke to the right-wing FINNS party, whose candidate received less than 10% of the vote.

Former finance minister Niinistö remains the favorite to win the run-off and assume the Presidency, but Haavisto is a credible candidate. He is regarded as a bridge-builder who reaches out to other parties.

Haavisto served as a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1987 to 1995. He became the chairperson of the Green League in 1993 and served as the Minister of the Environment from 1995 to 1999. He was the first European cabinet minister from a Green party.

From 1999 to 2005, Haavisto worked for the United Nations, principally on environmental issues. In 2005 he particated in the Darfur peace talks as the special representative of the European Union in the Sudan.

In 2007 and 2011 Haavisto was elected to Parliament from a Helsinki electoral district. He lives in a registered partnership with Antonio Flores, originally from Ecuador.

If Haavisto wins the election, he will join Elio Di Rupo of Belgium and Johanna Sigurdardottir of Iceland as openly gay or lesbian Prime Ministers of European countries.

Haavisto's homosexuality seems not to have been an issue in the election, although some members of the FINNS party have in the past made anti-gay comments.

In October 2010, homophobia surfaced in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which is the state church supported by voluntary taxation. After a television program on homosexuality and the church was seen as homophobic, more than 20,000 people resigned from the church within a span of a week.

In response to the resignations, taxes directed toward the church plummeted by more than 2 million euros, forcing it to cut various programs. The resignations also led to the Archbishop issuing a statement emphasizing that attitudes toward homosexuality in the church are more diverse than the views of a few extreme individuals.

The television program also sparked an intense debate within the state church about its stance toward gay couples, especially those in registered partnerships, which were adopted in 2001 and which afford same-sex couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

Finally, in November 2010, the General Synod of the church voted to permit pastors to offer prayers on behalf of same-sex couples, though not to offer a blessing as is done in traditional weddings.

Seta, the Finnish national organization for sexual equality, called the Synod's decision a step towards equality for sexual minorities in Finnish society, though its chair, Outi Hannula, noted that there is still a long way to go towards full equality in the church.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.