Finnish Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen was acquitted by a Helsinki court of incitement against a group of people over prior statements regarding homosexuality that included posting verses for the Holy Bible on social media.
The District Court of Helsinki acquitted Räsänen, a former Finnish Interior Minister, of all of the charges brought against her by prosecutors, who alleged that she had incited hatred toward homosexuals in statements made in 2004, 2018, and 2019.
On Wednesday, according to a report from the Catholic News Agency, the District Court of Helsinki threw out the charges against Räsänen in a 28-page ruling that determined the politician’s statements fell within the realm of free speech and stated, “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts.”
Finland’s Former Interior Minister On Trial for Bible Verse ‘Hate Speech’ https://t.co/Q3nW80oX6f
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 26, 2022
The Christian Democrat MP had previously described homosexuality as a “disorder of psychosexual development,” and had posted verses from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans on Instagram while speaking on the topic of a pride parade in Helsinki.
“The Church, of which I am a member, has announced that it is the official partner of SETA Helsinki Pride 2019. How does the doctrine of the Church, the Bible, fit in with a cause in which shame and sin are elevated to pride?” she wrote.
Räsänen posted a picture of Romans 1:26-27 which reads:
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
The Bible verse was just one of three charges, which included another relating to a 2004 pamphlet while another charge was related to a radio appearance from 2018, broadcaster YLE reports.
“I am so grateful the court recognized the threat to free speech and ruled in our favour. I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after being acquitted,” Räsänen said following the verdict and added, “Although I am grateful for having had this chance to stand up for freedom of speech, I hope that this ruling will help prevent others from having to go through the same ordeal.”
Prosecutors, who called for the MP to be fined 13,000 euros, have stated that they will appeal the court’s ruling.
The case became well-known internationally as, according to YLE, it become the first in which a court would have to answer whether or not quoting the Bible could be a criminal offence.
Scottish Hate Crime Bill Could Criminalise 'Inflammatory' Bible https://t.co/dPVqAh58s1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 14, 2020
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