LGBT rights in Iceland

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LGBT rights in Iceland
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Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1940,
age of consent equalized in 1992
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
Registered partnerships since 1996
Same-sex marriage not recognized
Adoption Partners may adopt partner's biological children
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protections (see below)

Iceland, as culturally related to Scandinavia, is a very liberal and secular country concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights.[citation needed] The majority of the public is supportive of homosexuality[citation needed] and gay pride parades are held every August. In February 2009 a minority government took office, headed by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the world's first openly gay head of government in modern times. The Government, which has recognised registered partnerships since 1996, is currently working on a same-sex marriage bill.[1]

Former laws against homosexuality

Laws governing homosexuality were repealed in 1940. In 1992 The Althing passed a radical amendment (no. 40/1992) to the clauses in the section on public decency in the penal code of 1940, now renamed Sexual Offences. The age of consent was set at 14, [2] - sexual intercourse between individuals, of 14 and above, was in other words legal as long as both parties consented. No distinction was now made between parties according to sex and all discrimination against homosexuals relating to the age of consent was eliminated.

Gender identity/expression

Transsexual persons have the right to change their legal gender.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Registered partnerships between same-sex couples became legal in 1996. In 2000, The Althing passed an amendment to the law on registered partnerships, no. 87/1996. According to this, the rights of foreign nationals living in Iceland were extended to allow them to register their partnerships here, and recognition was made of the reciprocal validity of this legal act in those countries that have comparable laws.

On 23 March 2010, the Government presented the bill, which would allow same-sex couples to marry. If passed the law will enter into force on 27 June 2010.[3][4][5][6]

Adoption and family planning

Icelandic adoption laws include the right to adopt one's partners' biological children. Hereto on June 27, 2006, a new law went into force, making same-sex couples eligible for all adoption, surrogacy and insemination purposes.

Discrimination protections

The Althing passed amendments to clauses §180 and §233 of the general penal code, relating to discrimination on grounds of nationality, color, race, religion or sex, adding the words "on grounds of sexual orientation". This made it illegal to refuse people goods or services on account of their sexual orientation, or to attack a person or group of people publicly with mockery, defamation, abuse or threats because of their sexual orientation.

Living conditions

Despite its small population, Reykjavík has a visible gay scene, with a couple of bars and cafes, and some places with a mixed gay and straight crowd. Elsewhere in Iceland, however, the sparse population means there is no gay scene.

Gay pride[7] parades take place in Iceland every August.[8]

LGBT rights movement in Iceland

Gay people have been represented by SamtÃkin '78 since it was founded in 1978. Campaigning for equality has changed the general attitudes of Icelanders over the years, and they are usually compared to the liberal attitudes of the other Nordic countries.[citation needed]

Summary table

Homosexuality legal Yes (since 1 May 1940)
Equal age of consent Yes (since 1992)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (since 1996)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes (since 1996)
Same-sex marriage(s) No (under government review)
Recognition of same-sex couples as de facto couples Yes (since 1996)
Recognition of same-sex couples as registered partnerships provided Yes (since 1996)
Both joint and step adoption by same-sex couples Yes (since 1 August 2006 for joint, since 1 June 2000 for step)
Gays allowed to serve openly in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender Yes
Equal access to "parental orders" for gay men with surrogacy arrangements Yes (from 1 January 2009)
Equal access to IVF and surrogacy for all couples and individuals Yes (since 2006)
Gay Prime Minister Yes (since 10 February 2009)
Parentage for lesbians who undergo IVF Yes (since 2006)
MSMs allowed to donate blood Yes

See also


External links


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