We Heart: Iceland Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Officially topping the list of countries we love is Iceland. Iceland’s Parliament, Althingi, voted unanimously (49 to 0) on June 11 to legalize gay marriage. The nation of about 320,000 people has become one of eight countries in the world to allow same-sex marriage.

First in line for a license, figuratively speaking, was Iceland’s openly lesbian prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. About two weeks after the law’s passage, she officially wed Jonina Leosdottir.

The couple had been registered partners in a civil union since 2002. Without a formal wedding ceremony, they were able to apply to have their civil union converted into a marriage.

Iceland’s Protestant church hasn’t decided whether to perform gay marriages: The law states that ministers are allowed “but never obliged to.” Northern Europe’s mostly Protestant countries–Sweden, Denmark and Norway–have all endorsed some form of civil union or gay marriage.

ABOVE: Johanna Sigurdardottir, Iceland’s prime minister and the first openly gay head of state. Photo from http://www.felagsmalaraduneyti.is/media/radherra//johanna_sigurdardottir_vef.jpg Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license