Ten Years Since Iceland Legalised Same-Sex Marriage Skip to content

Ten Years Since Iceland Legalised Same-Sex Marriage

By Larissa Kyzer

Photo: Gay Pride 2014.

It has been ten years since Iceland passed the law that made it legal for same-sex couples to wed, RÚV reports.

Iceland had previously legalised domestic partnerships for same-sex couples in 1996. These partnerships carried the same rights and obligations as marriage. Adoption for same-sex couples was then legalised in 2006.

Former Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and her wife, author and playwright Jónína Leósdóttir, were among the first LGBTQ+ couples to wed once the marriage law passed; the couple married the day the new law went into effect. The passage of this law did not, however, remove all hurdles to same-sex couples in Iceland marrying. Indeed, clergy in the National Church of Iceland were legally allowed to refuse same-sex couples on the basis of their personal convictions until 2015.

Iceland was the ninth nation in the world to legalise same-sex marriage; The Netherlands was the first, in 2001, followed by Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010). There are currently only 29 countries in which same-sex marriage is legal.

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