Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-02-10

Iceland's Prime Minister is First Married Gay World Leader

This week, Iceland's Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardotti married her longtime partner Jonina Leosdottir, making her the first head of government in the world to marry a same-sex partner. The couple married last Sunday, which was both the international day for gay rights and the day that a new law legalizing same-sex marriage in Iceland went into effect. Sigurdardotti called the new law "cause for celebration for all Icelanders", according to the Examiner.

The legislation is particularly notable because it goes one step beyond being gender neutral and explicitly states that "woman and woman" and "man and man" are included in the definition of marriage, according to On Top Magazine. The bill, first introduced in March of this year, was voted in by 49 of 63 members of the parliament on June 12. The remaining 12 members of the Icelandic parliament abstained, making the vote unanimous. The law replaces a 1996 law that allowed registered partnerships for same-sex couples. Sigurdardotti and her partner had this type of union prior to their wedding. Married partners will now have all the legal benefits and responsibilities that heterosexual married couples have.

In 2009, Sigurdardotti became the first woman and openly gay Prime Minister in the nation's history. Sigurdardotti became interim prime minister when Former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned in January as a result of Iceland's economic collapse. She was then appointed by Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and had previously served as the welfare minister under Haarde. She is currently the only openly gay national leader in the world.

The Scandinavian countries are often recognized internationally for their socially progressive policies and overall tolerance of differing lifestyles. In 2009, for instance, Iceland had the highest gender equality index of the 134 countries that were analyzed in a World Economic Forum study. Frederick Federley, a highly respected Swedish attorney, is openly gay, according to the Associated Press. Denmark started to register same-sex partnerships over 20 years ago and was the first to do so.

Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in six other European countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Sweden, and Portugal).

Media Resources: Examiner 6/29/10; On Top Magazine 6/27/10; Feminist Newswire 4/27/09; Feminist Newswire 10/28/09; Associated Press 6/28/2010


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/26/2014 More Investment in Women's Health Needed as Africa's Population Rises - Africa's population will reach four billion by 2100, according to a report released by UNICEF early this week. . . .
 
8/26/2014 92 Million Dollar Project Will Improve Higher Education in Afghanistan - The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a $92 million project to improve the higher education system in Afghanistan last week. The University Support and Workforce Development Project (USWDP) represents a five-year plan between USAID and the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and Ministry of Economy to improve Afghanistan's educational programs according to international standards. . . .
 
8/25/2014 Advocates Seek to Block Louisiana TRAP Law in Federal Suit - Friday, the Center for Reproductive Rights joined a federal lawsuit challenging a Louisiana TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law set to take effect September 1. The suit, filed on behalf of health care workers in Baton Rouge, seeks an injunction against Louisiana HB 388, which requires abortion providers in the state to obtain local hospital admitting privileges. . . .