The year 2021 marked 50 years since homosexual acts were decriminalised in the Finnish Penal Code. Although homosexual acts were no longer punishable from 1971, the classification of the disease remained until 1981. The 1971 amendment to the law also set a higher age of consent for homosexual acts and introduced the “ban of incitement” to commit legal homosexual acts, which criminalised incitement to commit legal homosexual acts. These amendments were only abolished from the Criminal Code in 1999.
In addition to the 50th anniversary of decriminalisation and the 40th anniversary of declassification, summer 2021 will mark the 10th anniversary of the removal of fetish and transvestism from the disease classification in 2011.
Events and programme
The Friends of Queer History coordinates the activities of the commemorative year by organising events, school visits and publishing information on the history of gender and sexual minorities in Finland. We also invited other actors to get involved: they were asked to register their own events and publications in the events calendar. You can browse the events announced during the marker year in the event archive.
The themes of the year were also highlighted on our social media channels:
Programme organised by the Friends of Queer History:
Injustices of History 1: The Wounds of Medicalisation
June 21, 2021, from 10 am to 4 pm
Watch the event recordings here (with sign language interpretation and subtitles in English, Finnish and Swedish).
Injustices of History 2: The Shadows of Criminalisation
Watch the event recordings here (with sign language interpretation and subtitles in English, Finnish, and Swedish).
Order a researcher to school – school visit programme
Autumn semester 2021, Autumn semester 2022
Queer History Month
1.11. – 30.11.2021
Read more about the anniversary in our online magazine:
Sandra Hagman: Background on homosexuality convictions
Miikka Vuorela: Criminal control of homosexual activity in Finland
Jukka Lehtonen: The slowly improving disease classification
Eva Isaksson: My teenage years in the 1960s
Anukatariina Saloheimo: Healthcare miracles – tens of thousands of sick people cured by a policy change!