D.C. Digest: Lankford, Inhofe inject themselves into Finnish free speech case

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01/30/2022

Finnish Lines: U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe have taken up the cause of a member of Finland’s parliament whose LGBTQ commentary has brought her into conflict with that country’s hate speech law. Inhofe and Lankford were among several Republican senators protesting to U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain that the prosecution of Paivi Rasanen, a former interior minister and current Christian Democrat MP, amounts to religious persecution. In a letter, the senators said Rasanen’s statements “reflect a conception of marriage and sexuality that is upheld not just by hundreds of millions of Christians, but also by many Muslims and Jews worldwide. We are greatly concerned that the use of Finnish law … could open the door for prosecution of other devout Christians, Muslims, Jews and adherents of other faiths for publicly stating their religious beliefs that may conflict with secular trends.” Rasanen describes same-gender attraction as a “psychosexual developmental disorder” and “dysfunctional.” She criticized the Finnish Lutheran Church for participating in gay pride activities, saying that by doing so, the church was “elevating shame and sin to a subject of pride.”

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