Iceland Legalizes Gay Marriage

Parliament unanimously approves redefinition of marriage
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2010 3:58 PM CDT
Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, the world's only openly gay head of state, speaks in Iceland's parliament, in Reykjavik, Jan. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)
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(Newser) – With little fanfare, Iceland's parliament unanimously passed a resolution legalizing gay marriage today, Reuters reports. The Althingi voted 49-0 to add mention of unions between "man and man" and "woman and woman" to the legal definition of marriage. Iceland's tolerance for homosexuality is well known—PM Johanna Sigurdardottir is the only openly gay head of state in the world.

Predominantly Catholic Portugal, which is generally considered more conservative than the Scandinavian countries, legalized gay marriage last month. "The attitude in Iceland is fairly pragmatic," says a University of Iceland political scientist. "Gay marriage has not been a big issue in national politics—it's not been controversial."

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