“This might be hard to grasp for Americans for whom religion is such a big issue, but Finland is almost complete secular. People are not that religious. Philosophically most people in Finland probably align themselves mostly with general "humanist values", such as equality, more than religious values. They belong to the church because it's a cultural issue, not religious. They've inherited it from their parents and family and for most it's nothing more than the institution that organizes weddings and day care.
And I think that this is exactly why people are now reacting to strongly. The gay rights issue demonstrated to many what the church is really about. And they are appalled when they suddenly realize that they belong to this organization which endorses hate and bigotry. They understand that it's something that clings to the dark ages and no place in modern society.
So yes, before this most people really didn't notice how homophobic and bigoted their chuch was.”