ONTD Political

Iceland passes gay marriage law in unanimous vote

5:48 pm - 06/11/2010
REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland, the only country in the world to have an openly gay head of state, passed a law on Friday allowing same-sex partners to get married in a vote which met with no political resistance.

The Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero to change the wording of marriage legislation to include matrimony between "man and man, woman and woman," in addition to unions between men and women.

Iceland, a socially tolerant island nation of about 320,000 people, became the first country to elect an openly gay head of state in 2009 when Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir became prime minister after being nominated by her party.

"The attitude in Iceland is fairly pragmatic," said Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political scientist at the University of Iceland. "It (gay marriage) has not been a big issue in national politics -- it's not been controversial."

The prime minister's sexual orientation garnered far more interest among foreign media than in Iceland, where the attitude toward homosexuality has grown increasingly relaxed in the past two or three decades, Kristinsson added.

Iceland's protestant church has yet to decide whether to allow same-sex marriages in church, although the law says "ministers will always be free to perform (gay) marriage ceremonies, but never obliged to."

The largely protestant countries of northern Europe, including Sweden, Norway and Denmark, have all endorsed some form of civil union between same-sex couples, but the issue creates more controversy in Mediterranean Catholic nations.

In the United States, gay marriage remains a frought political issue, with laws varying widely from state to state. Vermont was the first state to allow same-sex civil unions in 1999, followed by Massachusetts and Connecticut and others.

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professor_chaos 12th-Jun-2010 12:55 am (UTC)
*sigh* As mush as I like to believe we have come a long way in the U.S. regarding tolerance of the GLBT community, news like this still reminds me that this country if still way behind the curve and filled with way too much hatred and ignorance.
popehippo 12th-Jun-2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Iceland. <3
havealemon 12th-Jun-2010 12:56 am (UTC)
YAY. Go Iceland! :D
laxrissalax 12th-Jun-2010 12:59 am (UTC)
Go Iceland! And Portugal too, for that matter.
zoram 12th-Jun-2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Can I make fun of you for thinking that Iceland is Scandinavian? ;)
yami_no_hoshi 12th-Jun-2010 01:00 am (UTC)
Yay Iceland! :D
pageup 12th-Jun-2010 01:03 am (UTC)
Yay Iceland ♥, and yay for Iceland making the news for something other than financial or volcano related.
girlthatyoufear 12th-Jun-2010 01:11 am (UTC)
thirteenfluidoz 12th-Jun-2010 01:12 am (UTC)
fuck yeah iceland
_sockmonk_ 12th-Jun-2010 01:16 am (UTC)
Yay Iceland :D
acmeeoy 12th-Jun-2010 01:21 am (UTC)
*insert joke about volcano erupting gay rainbow ash cloud that then smothers the US with its gayness here*
lisaee 12th-Jun-2010 01:22 am (UTC)
You're making up for that volcano, Iceland. ♥

Though if there's any ash come July ...
haruhiko 12th-Jun-2010 01:22 am (UTC)
The Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero

JFC, our country is so fucking backwards. No one in our ~500 member Congress would vote for full equal marriage rights for gays aside from Kucinich and Sanders, and maybe a Barbara Lee or Lynn Woolsey.

Would have preferred matrimony to be a contract "between two persons" instead of having it be between "man and man, woman and woman, and woman and man." Besides being less clunky it's more inclusive to those who are not-cis/genderqueer. But still, this is pretty awesome--congrats to Iceland. :D
piratesswoop 12th-Jun-2010 01:44 am (UTC)
I feel like the political gods blessed Ohio by giving us Kucinich, but simultaneously shat on us by giving us Boehner

leviicorpus 12th-Jun-2010 01:42 am (UTC)
ellipsisaddict 12th-Jun-2010 01:44 am (UTC)
abiding 12th-Jun-2010 02:04 am (UTC)
They effing rock.
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