Experiences of (Mis)recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

Elina Hellqvist, Auli Vähäkangas
  • Exchange, July 2018, Brill
  • DOI: 10.1163/1572543x-12341489

Experiences of Same-Sex couples in the ELCF.

What is it about?

The article discusses the recognition of same-sex partnerships in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (elcf). The main focus is on the experiences of recognition and misrecognition of same-sex couples when the couples have asked for a prayer on behalf of their registered partnership.

Why is it important?

Most of the interviewees had positive experiences of recognition from the informal community but mainly negative experiences of misrecognition from the institutional elcf. The difficult balancing between the conviction of the equal human dignity of each individual and the understanding of marriage as a social category for heterosexuals only led to same-sex couples’ experience of not being treated as equal members of the church. The study affirmed the importance of experiences and feelings as indicators in identifying a valid struggle for recognition.


Prof. Auli M Vähäkangas
Helsingin Yliopisto

This article was an important possibility to discuss an urgent issue in Finland.

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