Same-sex marriage in Iceland

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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.[1] No members of parliament voted against the bill, and public opinion polls suggest that the bill is very popular in Iceland.[2] Iceland became the ninth country in the world to have legalized same-sex marriage.

Registered partnership[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe
  Foreign marriages recognized
  Other type of partnership
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples

Includes laws that have not yet gone into effect.

Registered partnerships (Icelandic: staðfest samvist) for same-sex couples were introduced in Iceland in 1996. It was adopted by the Althing on 4 June by a vote of 44–1 and entered into force on 27 June 1996.[3][4] This legislation was repealed with the passing of the gender-neutral marriage law.

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.[5][6][7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

An amendment which took force on 27 June 2008 allowed the Church of Iceland and other religious groups to bless same-sex registered partnerships.[10]

Notable Icelandic individuals joined in registered partnership included the then-Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, and her partner, Jónína Leósdóttir.[11] On 27 June 2010, they had their registered partnership transformed into a recognized marriage.[12][13]

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. 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.[14][15] The opposition Progressive Party also supported gender-neutral marriage.[16]

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.[17] On 23 March 2010, the Government presented a bill to repeal the registered partnership law and allow couples to marry regardless of gender.[18][19] On 11 June 2010 the Icelandic Parliament approved the bill 49 to 0, with 7 abstentions and 7 absences.[20][21][22] The law took effect on 27 June 2010.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dwyer Arce (11 June 2010). "Iceland parliament approves same-sex marriage legislation". JURIST - Paper Chase. 
  2. ^ "Iceland parliament votes for gay marriage". 11 June 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  3. ^ (Icelandic) Lög um staðfesta samvist
  4. ^ "Iceland : Recognized partnership law, 1996". 1 July 1996. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Partnership Law In Iceland". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "A Victory For Icelandic Lesbians And Gays". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Details Of The Icelandic Partnership Law". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Adoption of Stepchildren in Gay and Lesbian Families in Iceland". Gay Ottawa Now!. June 13, 2000. 
  9. ^ "Important Improvements in Gay and Lesbian Rights in Iceland". 12 June 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "First Lesbian Couple in Iceland “Marries” in Church". 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Moody, Jonas (30 January 2009). "Iceland Picks the World's First Openly Gay PM". Time. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  12. ^ Peter Lloyd (28 June 2010). "Iceland's Prime Minister marries long-term partner". Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Icelandic PM weds as gay marriage legislation comes into effect". 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Government Coalition Platform of the Social Democratic Alliance and Left-Green Movement". 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Iceland: Homosexuality and the Law". 30 July 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  16. ^ (Icelandic) Framsóknarflokkurinn sendir frá sér ályktun um hjónabandslöggjöfina
  17. ^ (Icelandic) Unnið að setningu einna hjúskaparlaga,, 18 November 2009
  18. ^ "Iceland Likely to Permit Gay Marriage by June". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Iceland is fine-tuning marriage-equality bill". 10 April 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  20. ^ (Icelandic) "Hjúskaparlög, staðfest samvist o.fl. (ein hjúskaparlög)". Alþingi. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  21. ^ (Icelandic) Atkvæðagreiðsla
  22. ^ "Iceland passes gay marriage law in unanimous vote". 11 June 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "New gay marriage law in Iceland comes into force". 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 

External links[edit]