Same-sex marriage in Iceland

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Same-sex marriage in Iceland has been legal since 27 June 2010. A bill providing for a gender-neutral marriage definition was passed by the Althing on 11 June 2010.[1] No members of Parliament voted against the bill, and public opinion polls suggested that the bill was very popular.[2] Iceland became the ninth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Iceland has become a popular marriage destination for same-sex couples and was listed in the "Top 10 Gay Wedding Destinations" by Lonely Planet in 2014.[3]

Registered partnership[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Marriage
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

Registered partnerships (Icelandic: staðfest samvist) for same-sex couples were introduced in Iceland in 1996. The law was adopted by the Althing on 4 June by a vote of 44–1 and entered into force on 27 June 1996.[4][5][6] This legislation was repealed with the passing of the gender-neutral marriage law in 2010.

The legislation granted the same range of protections, responsibilities and benefits as marriage, and was only available to same-sex couples. All parties in the Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, were in favour of the law.[7][8]

On 8 May 2000, the Icelandic Parliament approved amendments to the registered partnership law in a vote of 49–1. Foreigners could enter into a registered partnership if they had been residing in Iceland for at least two years. Another amendment allowed for a person in a registered partnership to adopt the biological child of his or her partner, unless the child was adopted from a foreign country. Iceland became the second country in the world, after Denmark, to grant same-sex couples some adoption rights.[9]

On 2 June 2006, Parliament voted for legislation granting same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexuals in adoption, parenting and assisted insemination treatment. No member of Parliament voted against the proposal and the law came into effect on 27 June 2006.[10]

An amendment which took force on 27 June 2008 allowed the Church of Iceland and other religious groups to bless same-sex registered partnerships.[11]

Notable Icelandic individuals joined in a registered partnership included the then-Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, and her partner, Jónína Leósdóttir.[12] On 27 June 2010, they had their registered partnership transformed into a recognized marriage.[13][14][15]

Statistics[edit]

The rate of registered partnerships remained relatively constant over the years. In 2003, according to Statistics Iceland, 12 same-sex couples entered into such partnerships. This number was 17 in 2004, 13 in 2005, 13 in 2006, 19 in 2007, and 18 in 2008.[16]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

The Government of Iceland, elected in April 2009, announced the introduction of a gender-neutral marriage act at some point in the future. On 19 May 2009, it publicly stated that "a single marriage act will be adopted." Though it was not explicitly stated, it implied that the act would be gender-neutral.[17][18] The opposition Progressive Party also supported gender-neutral marriage.[19]

On 18 November 2009, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Ragna Árnadóttir, confirmed that the Icelandic Government was working on a "single marriage act" which would include both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.[20] On 23 March 2010, the Government presented a bill to repeal the registered partnership law and allow couples to marry regardless of gender. The bill would amend the Marriage Act (Icelandic: Hjúskaparlög) to make all text gender-neutral.[21][22] On 11 June 2010, the Icelandic Parliament approved the bill 49 to 0, with 7 abstentions and 7 absences.[23][24][25] The law took effect on 27 June 2010.[26]

11 June 2010 vote in the Althing[24]
Political affiliation Voted for Abstained/Absent
 G  Social Democratic Alliance
  Independence Party
 G  Left-Green Movement
  Progressive Party
  The Movement -
  Independent -
Total 49 14

In October 2015, the Church of Iceland voted to allow same-sex couples to marry in its churches.[27]

Public opinion[edit]

A February 2000 Gallup opinion poll showed that 53% of Icelanders supported the right of same-sex couples to adopt children, 12% declared their neutrality and 35% were against the right to adopt.[28]

A June 2004 Gallup poll showed that 87% of Icelanders supported same-sex marriage.[28][29] Furthermore, a Fréttablaðið opinion survey in November 2005 showed that 82.3% of the population supported access to assisted pregnancy for lesbian couples.[30][31]

According to a 2006 Gallup poll, 89% of Icelanders supported same-sex marriage, with 11% opposed. Specifically, 66% supported both civil and religious same-sex marriages, 19% supported only civil marriages and 3% only religious marriages. Support varied by age: 92% of 18-24-year-olds were in favour of same-sex marriage, compared to 95% in the 25-34 age group, 93% in the 35-44 age group, 89% in the 45-54 age group, and 81% among those over 55.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arce, Dwyer (11 June 2010). "Iceland parliament approves same-sex marriage legislation". JURIST. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Iceland parliament votes for gay marriage". IceNews. 11 June 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  3. ^ Zimmerman, Karla (February 2014). "Top 10 gay wedding destinations". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  4. ^ "320. mál lagafrumvarp Lög nr. 87/1996, 120. löggjafarþingi". Althingi (in Icelandic). Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Lög um staðfesta samvist". Althingi (in Icelandic). Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Iceland : Recognized partnership law, 1996". France QRD. 1 July 1996. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  7. ^ "ILGA Euroletter 42, June 1996". France QRD. June 1996. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  8. ^ "ILGA Euroletter 43, August 1996". France QRD. August 1996. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Adoption of Stepchildren in Gay and Lesbian Families in Iceland". Gay Ottawa Now!. 13 June 2000. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016.
  10. ^ Gunnarsdottir, Hrafnhildur (12 June 2006). "Important Improvements in Gay and Lesbian Rights in Iceland". ILGA-Europe. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  11. ^ "First Lesbian Couple in Iceland "Marries" in Church". Iceland Review. 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  12. ^ Moody, Jonas (30 January 2009). "Iceland Picks the World's First Openly Gay PM". Time. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  13. ^ Lloyd, Peter (28 June 2010). "Iceland's Prime Minister marries long-term partner". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012.
  14. ^ Brocklebank, Christopher (28 June 2010). "Icelandic PM weds as gay marriage legislation comes into effect". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Jóhanna og Jónína í hjónaband". RÚV (in Icelandic). 27 June 2010. Archived from the original on 12 May 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Marriages, consensual unions and divorces". Statistics Iceland. 27 May 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Government Coalition Platform of the Social Democratic Alliance and Left-Green Movement". Eng.forsaetisraduneyti.is. 19 May 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Iceland: Homosexuality and the Law". Gayice.is. 30 July 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Framsóknarflokkurinn sendir frá sér ályktun um hjónabandslöggjöfina". Samtökin '78 (in Icelandic). 26 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Unnið að setningu einna hjúskaparlaga". Morgunblaðið. 18 November 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Iceland Likely to Permit Gay Marriage by June". CarnalNation. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  22. ^ "Iceland is fine-tuning marriage-equality bill". Sdgln.com. 10 April 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Hjúskaparlög, staðfest samvist o.fl. (ein hjúskaparlög)". Alþingi (in Icelandic). Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Atkvæðagreiðsla". Alþingi (in Icelandic). Archived from the original on March 31, 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  25. ^ Bjornsdottir, Birna; Vinocur, Nicholas (11 June 2010). "Iceland passes gay marriage law in unanimous vote". Reuters. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  26. ^ "New gay marriage law in Iceland comes into force". IceNews. 28 June 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  27. ^ Underwood, York (29 October 2015). "Icelandic Priests Cannot Deny Gay Marriage". The Reykjavík Grapevine. Archived from the original on 14 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  28. ^ a b Westlund, Jennie; Barr, Bonnie; Kuosmanen, Paula; Traustadóttir, Rannveig; Kristinsson, Thorvaldur (2009). ""Regnbågsfamiljers ställning i Norden Politik" (PDF). NIKK Publikationer. p. 269. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  29. ^ "Meirihluti vill leyfa giftingar samkynhneigðra" (in Icelandic). Morgunblaðið. 29 June 2004. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Íslendingar vilja að lesbíur fái að eignast börn með gjafasæði: Sýnir umburðarlyndi fólks" (in Icelandic). Fréttablaðið. 21 November 2005. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  31. ^ "Mikill stuðningur við rétt til tæknifjóvgunar". Vísir.is. 21 November 2005. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  32. ^ "Litlar breytingar á viðhorfi til giftinga samkynhneigðra" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Gallup. September 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.

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