Supporters of same-sex marriage celebrate outside the Finnish parliament the passing of a law allowing same-sex marriages in 2014. AFP
HELSINKI, Finland – A law passed in 2014 by Finland’s parliament to legalize same-sex marriages came into effect in the beginning of this month and has since enabled many gay couples, including Kurds, to formally tie the knot.
This year is special to the history of Finland. On the one hand, the Finns will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of their independence. On the other hand, the country is holding its provincial elections, which is an important event to them, especially with the leftists out of power now. This is aside from the coming into force of the law legalizing same-sex marriages.
Many activities were performed in Finland on the day the law came into effect, including many same-sex marriage ceremonies which in some cases were held in groups.
There was a Kurdish man there too, along with other gay community members coming from other European countries showing support for the law.
A 23-year-old Kurd who identified himself as Ziryan and from the Kurdistan Region got married to a Finnish man named Tomi on March 1, 2017.
“I have decided to marry a man. It is neither acting nor something artificial. This is my nature which I am proud of,” Ziryan said. “I am not a stranger. It was the society that didn’t accept me.”
He smuggled his way all the way to Finland, taking him two years to get there. He has been living in Finland for one and a half year.
“I am proud to be the first gay Kurd in Finland to hold the ceremony on this historic day, being one of those whose names were written in the history of this country,” he added.
Ziryan told Rudaw that his relatives had tried to kill him in the past.
“I was beaten up twice and injured, trying to kill me.”
He said that he had suffered a lot due to his sexuality. He was eventually rescued by his maternal uncle, taking him to Turkey where he started his journey which landed him in Finland.
Ziryan’s Finnish partner is two years his junior.
H said he was not the only gay Kurd in Finland. “There are other Kurds like me in Helsinki. But they don’t want to be seen in the media. Hence, they chose not to hold their ceremonies on this day.”
Ziryan didn’t want to be identified by his real name or his picture published. “For the sake of my relatives, so they don’t have to face the same anguish because our society is very repressive of this matter.”