In its judgment, the Helsinki District Court recalled that, although freedoms are not unrestricted, their restriction requires particularly compelling social reasons. Safeguarding the equality and dignity of sexual minorities may be such a reason in certain circumstances, it added.
All of Räsänen’s statements were considered to be at least somewhat contemptuous of homosexuals, but not to the extent that they were not protected by free speech.
Räsänen describes homosexuality as a disorder of psychosexual development in a pamphlet published by the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission in 2004. He commented on the Church’s collaboration and pride parade in 2019, tweeting the question of how “raising sin and shame as a source of pride” can be reconciled with the foundation of the Church’s teachings, the Bible.
Although both statements were considered derogatory, the court found that they were not intended to offend or humiliate homosexuals. The former, for example, was instead interpreted as an attempt to defend the concepts of family and marriage that are consistent with his religious beliefs.
Räsänen also violated the equality of homosexuals in 2019 by claiming in a radio interview that God did not originally create man as a homosexual but as a heterosexual.
“Judgment was awaited,” he said comments To YLE on Wednesday. – I would have been surprised and shocked if the verdict had been different. I am also grateful that I was given this opportunity to defend freedom of speech, to defend freedom of religion.
Prosecutor Anu Mantila the contrast was surprised by the verdict and added that the prosecutor hoped that the court would weigh the principles of equality and non-discrimination more closely with freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
“They interpreted the statements differently than the prosecutor and therefore they felt that the limits of freedom of speech were not violated,” he analyzed. – I think this is because the factors that violate equality and non-discrimination were not taken into account.
He added that there is a “high probability” that the prosecutor will seek leave to appeal against what he considers to be an erroneous and unfair conviction.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page