Gay and transgender rights advocacy groups have protested a recent decision made by the constitutional committee to exclude sexual orientation and sex identity from an equal rights article of the draft for the new constitution.
The constitutional committee – 25 government-appointed citizens tasked with drafting a new constitution for Iceland – have recently announced that they have completed a rough draft for Iceland’s constitution. Among the changes made is the inclusion of an equal rights article which is supposed to protect the country’s minorities from discrimination.
However, neither sexual orientation nor sexual identity were included in this article, and gay rights group Samtökin 78 and transgender rights group Trans Ísland are less than pleased.
“It is an historic fact that homosexuals have been discriminated against in Iceland,” their joint statement to the press reads in part. They point out that while gay marriage is now allowed in Iceland, this does not mean that discrimination against gay and transgendered Icelanders has been eliminated.
“The decision of the constitutional committee is unfortunately final, and it is quite unlikely that sexual identity will be defined in the new constitution,” they say. “Discrimination based on sexual identity is a fact, and therefore other means of guaranteeing these rights are needed.”