From Iceland — Iceland Needs To Do Better In Defending Queer Rights

Iceland Needs To Do Better In Defending Queer Rights

Published October 15, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Of the many conclusions reached at an online meeting on queer rights in Iceland held last Tuesday, one of them was that Iceland is not doing enough to legislatively and financially defend queer rights in this country, RÚV reports.

“The legal rights of queer people in Iceland are not being adequately secured, in comparison to many European countries,” National Queer Organisation chairperson Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir said. “I find it unacceptable for a country which considers itself to be at the forefront globally on this subject.”

While public tolerance for queer people has been on the rise in Iceland, more needs to be done, both legislatively and financially, to defend queer rights, both on a national and a municipal level. Iceland is in fact behind other Nordic countries when it comes to this, and it is not enough to paint rainbows on streets, as nice as that may be.

Amongst the changes Iceland needs to make is to legislate increased safety for queer people, give them more body autonomy, increased protections from hate speech and hate crimes, and to generally understand that queer people are a marginalised group.

“Going forward, we need to do continued work on new legislation,” Þorbjörg said. “We should be in the top spot on the Rainbow Map,” referring to ILGA Europe’s ranking system for queer rights in Europe.

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