From Iceland — Pirates Propose More Than Two Can Register For Legal Cohabitation

Pirates Propose More Than Two Can Register For Legal Cohabitation

Published January 13, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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A parliamentary proposal from the Pirate Party requests that current laws be reviewed and changed, so that more than two people can register for legal cohabitation, RÚV reports. Pirate MP Björn Leví Gunnarsson, who submitted the proposal, says that the existing law does not reflect modern times.

Björn Leví points out that a lot has changed on this subject over the years. For example, in 2010 the cohabitation law was changed from specifying “a man and a woman living together” to simply “two people”, with no mention of gender. Today, Björn Levi contends, the law ought to be changed further to reflect that many different types of relationships that people can have.

“This leads one to ask, why not three?,” he told Parliament. “Why not more? Why can four people not adopt a child, for example? Or siblings buying an apartment together? Why can they not register as cohabiting and receive all the rights that this entails?”

Björn Levi added that this also concerns the rights of renters. He cites a personal example, when he and several friends rented an apartment together, but there was only one name on the lease. This led to all sorts of problems, by his account, including but not limited to applying for rent assistance.

He admitted that he does not know of similar legislation in other western countries. Further complicating the matter is that this is a parliamentary proposal—not a bill—and as such a vote for it only indicates taking practical steps to examine how existing laws could be changed to meet the aims of the proposal. The Pirate Party is also in the opposition, which automatically makes the proposal’s passage less likely than one coming from a ruling coalition party.

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