Iceland’s parliament passed a law today that eliminates the distinction between “marriage” for straight couples and “civil unions” for gay couples, creating instead one marriage for all Icelanders, regardless of sexual orientation.
The law – approved with 49 yes votes and none against – was submitted by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights last March. The law is a correction of a previous law on marriage, where the definition is first and foremost changed from involving “a man and a woman” to simply “two individuals.”
In essence, whatever rights and privileges marriage granted a man and a woman who got married are now extended to any two human beings who get married, regardless of gender.
The law met with a great deal of resistance from members of the national church and others, but for the most part the proposal had received strong multipartisan support, as was evident when votes were cast.
Many members of parliament rose to make statements as to why they were voting the way they did, but Movement MP Margrét Tryggvadóttir probably summed it up best in saying. “I say ‘yes’ with a sun in my heart. I feel that Iceland and the world is better than it was yesterday.”