Who'd have guessed that I would ever vote in a parish election, I who have defined myself as non-Christian since age thirteen? But now it has happened; an unexpected consequence of a TV programme I didn't even watch - the YLE Gay Night, of course. Mostly I acted in reaction to the extremes - both to the religious conservatives and those who left the church in anger.

Not that I care who has a right to marry whom, and especially in church - why would anyone want to marry anyhow? And the whole idea of a church wedding is ridiculous. The tradition originates after all in the expanding influence of the power-seeking medieval church in all spheres of life, leading to it taking over a well-established secular social and economic arrangement called marriage, and even dubbing it a sacrament. That may be what led to the association of love and marriage, and to exaggerated expectations.

All valid arguments even for same-sex marriage are social and economic, and mostly provided for by a registered partnership. If one omits the equality argument, the basic reason for same-sex marriage is just romantic, unlike for heterosexual marriage which is the only alternative in most countries. A fair arrangement would be a registered partnership for all, including heterosexual couples, in so far as one's partnerships have economic consequences. An arrangement like marriage may have been sensible in a natural economy without other social security, but are marriage-like unions needed in contemporary western societies?

But back to the elections. For a while I thought I wouldn't vote, because I felt I was being manipulated. But what the hell, I did it anyhow. People were actually queueing to vote at the Narinkkatori advance voting cabin. The project secretary for the elections has promised to have the Church Council logo tattooed on his calf if the turnout percentage rises above 20%...