Same-sex marriage has been legal in Iceland since 27 June 2010. The bill providing a gender-neutral marriage definition was passed by the Icelandic Althing on 11 June 2010. No members of parliament voted against the bill, and public opinion polls suggest that the bill is very popular in Iceland. Iceland became the ninth country in the world to have legalized same-sex marriage.
The legislation granted the same range of protections, responsibilities and benefits as marriage, and was only available to same-sex couples. A registered partner could adopt the other partner’s child, unless the child was adopted from a foreign country. All parties in the Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, were in favour of the law.
On 8 May 2000, the Icelandic Parliament approved amendments, in a 49-1 vote, to the registered partnership law. Foreigners could enter a registered partnership if they had been residing in Iceland for at least two years. Another amendment allows for a person in a registered partnership to adopt the biological child of his or her partner, Iceland thus became the second country in the world, after Denmark, to allow step-child adoption to same-sex couples.
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.
An amendment which took force on 27 June 2008 allowed the Church of Iceland and other religious groups to bless same-sex registered partnerships.
Notable Icelandic individuals joined in registered partnership included the then-Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, and her partner, Jónína Leósdóttir. On 27 June 2010, they had their registered partnership transformed into a recognized marriage.
The Government of Iceland, elected in April 2009, announced the introduction of a gender-neutral Marriage Act at some point in the future. The 'Government Coalition Platform of the Social Democratic Alliance and Left-Green Movement', published on the 19 May 2009 stated that "A single marriage act will be adopted." Though it was not explicitly stated, it implied that the act would be gender-neutral. The opposition Progressive Party also supported gender-neutral marriage.
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. On 23 March 2010, the Government presented a bill to repeal the registered partnership law and allow couples to marry regardless of gender. On 11 June 2010 the Icelandic Parliament approved the bill 49 to 0, with 7 abstentions and 7 absences. The law took effect on 27 June 2010.