Althingi parliament passed a bill of laws yesterday stating that all citizens are to have access to the same marriage laws, regardless of their sexual preference. In all, 49 MPs voted for the laws but 14 MPs were absent.
Instead of the words “man and woman,” the law now reads “two individuals”. This means that gay people can now get married in churches and in civil ceremonies.From Gay Pride in Reykjavík. Photo Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review
The Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir said to Fréttabladid that the law will greatly improve the rights of gay citizens in Iceland.
“We are very happy and have started to plan our celebration. Now the nation has closed down the last guard so that all its citizens can have equal rights,” said Svanfrídur Lárusdóttir, leader of Samtökin 78, a gay rights association. The law will take effect on June 27, an international gay day.
The State Church, however, is split over this matter. “We are not all of the same opinion. People have not reached a uniform decision where everyone can agree, so we can’t say that we are all celebrating. But the joy is great among those who do celebrate this,” said Kristján Valur Ingólfsson from the office of the Bishop of Iceland. He added that the church will of course obey the law.
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