In the midst of Gay Pride celebrations, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Siðmennt) held its first gay marriage this weekend. Vísir reports that Jana Björg Ingadóttir and Jóhanna Kristín Gísladóttir got married last Saturday at Siðmennt. Renowned gay rights pioneer and political activist Hörður Torfason officiated the ceremony. Siðmennt has offered secular alternatives to what are often religious affairs in Iceland, including weddings, funerals, and even confirmations. When parliament begins with mass at the National Cathedral, Siðmennt offers a ceremony of their own, which many MPs have attended in the past. Established in 1988, Siðmennt has been a part of the international humanist community since their inception, in addition to the work they do in Iceland.
Police were called to the scene after a mother – who was letting her 16 month old nap outside her home in Vesturbær – found the baby had been taken from its pram, reports Vísir. Three police cars were sent to the scene though they quickly discovered that a relative had passed by and taken the baby, leaving a note in the pram to say where they had gone. The baby has been safely returned to its parents and is doing just fine. Recently the Icelandic habit of leaving babies outside to nap in prams, both at home, or in front
A Jägermeister commercial shot over 10 days in Iceland has been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for being irresponsible, reports Vísir. The £3 million campaign featured a group of real-life professional surfers – including Oli Adams, Ben Skinner and Ritchie Fitzgerald – was shot without storyboards or scripts and features the group on a road trip through ice-covered landscapes, then surfing and drinking Jägermeister together. “The new ad was created in the true character of Jägermeister, using real friends and no scripts,” said Nicole Goodwin, the group marketing manager at Jägermeister UK. “So that the finished film focuses on those
Former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir H. Haarde will, effective January 1, 2015, serve as “an ambassador in foreign service” to an as-yet unspecified appointment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that Geir H. Haarde has been appointed as “an ambassador in foreign service”, along Left-Green MP and former Foreign Affairs Committee chairperson Árni Þór Sigurðsson. Their appointments go into effect on January 1, 2015. In 2010, parliament narrowly voted in favour of Geir standing trial for negligence and mismanagement while in office. The vote came in the wake of the 2010 Special Investigative Commission Report on the contributing
The Parliamentary Ombudsman, after having spoken with both former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson and State Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir, is now demanding that Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir answer to allegations that she may have tried to influence the course of the ongoing police investigation of her ministry. RÚV reports that Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson sent a formal request to the minister which poses two main questions. Firstly, the ombudsman has asked the minister if she did, on at least one occasion, call Stefán into her office and express displeasure with the course of police
A group of Icelanders hope to provide men and women everywhere with a trove of examples of women achievers, and spoke to Grapevine about why this project matters. The website, Reconesse Database, will not only provide a world map marking women achievers past and present – the site is also asking the general public to send in their own examples, with the hope to “share stories that might otherwise have gone unnoticed”. Grapevine spoke to four of the women behind the project – Berglind Sunna Stefánsdóttir, Anna Gyða Sigurgísladóttir, Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir and Andrea Björk Andrésdóttir – who shared their insight
Organisers of this weekend’s Merchants’ Holiday festival in the Westman Islands have been challenged to ensure there will be no rapes nor assaults this year. Vísir reports that last year, 16 sexual assaults at the festival were reported to police. This figure actually marks a decline in assaults at the event. By contrast, the Eistnaflug music festival has, for ten years running now, never had a reported sexual assault or major fight. Stefán Magnússon, Eistnaflug’s organiser, says the reason is simple: they have made it emphatically clear that violence will not be tolerated. “I have gotten up on the stage