Police Remove Protester from Reykjavík Queer Choir Concert Skip to content

Police Remove Protester from Reykjavík Queer Choir Concert

Set-up for the Reykjavík Queer Choir’s annual concert at Seltjarnarnes Church last Saturday was interrupted by a protestor who objected to the flagging of the LGBTQ rainbow flag at a Christian church. This he claimed was in violation of the Bible and offensive to his faith, according a statement released by chair Gunnlaugur Bragi Björnsson on the choir’s official Facebook page.

Church staff considered acquiescing to the man’s demand, but at the choir’s request, parish priest Bjarni Þór Bjarnason intervened and gave his blessing for the flag’s continued presence on church grounds for the duration of the concert. “The priest’s decision was not well received by “the self-ordained moral guardian” who then endeavored to personally remove the flag. These efforts were witnessed by several choir members, concert guests, and residents of the neighborhood.

When the man continued to persist, in spite of repeated requests that he cease his attempts at removing the flag, and that he vacate the premises, police were called to the scene. Reykjavík Metropolitan Police officers arrived promptly and removed the man, and are praised in the Facebook post by Gunnlaugur Bragi for courteous conduct in a difficult situation.

“Incidents such as these remind us that the struggle is not over. Queer people continue to be harassed and discriminated against in Icelandic society, even though the state of equality in the legal sense is excellent. Individuals like this demonstrate why social organizations like the Reykjavík Queer Choir are necessary. Together we work towards a better world and little by little achieve societal equality for all,” said Gunnlaugur Bragi.

The flag was gifted to the church at the conclusion of the concert, in the hope that “it will be raised often in the name of human rights and diversity.”

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