Many have had struggles with name approvals by the Icelandic Naming Committee.
Yesterday, the Reykjavík District Court revoked the ruling of the Icelandic Naming Committee that Ingólfur Örn Friðriksson could not bear the name Lúsífer, the Icelandic version of ‘Lucifer’.
Right to religious freedom as well for Satanists
According to Vísir, Ingólfur is a Satanist in the Church of Satan and has been in the congregation since 2001, as stated in the judgment. He says that in his faith, the name stands for information and reasoning, and at the same time resourcefulness to deal with life.
Lúsífer will receive compensation for legal costs
It was ruled that Ingólfur, or Lúsífer as he calls himself, will receive ISK 900,000 in legal costs from the Icelandic state. However, he does not receive the recognition that he can now be officially called Lúsífer. This is due to the ruling only being revoked and no new ruling being determined, stating that he can legally call himself Lúsífer.
The Reykjavík District Court decided that the Naming Committee had not taken sufficient account of the different meanings of the name Lúsífer. According to the dictionary, it could as well just refer to deep-sea fish as it could refer to the devil himself. Due to these different meanings of the word, the District Court could not agree that the committee was authorized to reject the name on the grounds of the law.
Lucifer is not just negatively associated
The official verdict says that the word also refers to the light bearer and the morning star Venus, which has no negative meaning at all. Furthermore, the verdict states, “Then there is nothing to support that the name has a generally negative and degrading meaning according to people’s language awareness nowadays, rather than, for example, the name Ári, which is on the human names register.” In other words, the name will not be a nuisance if it does not have a negative connotation in people’s minds.
The District Court cannot authorize the name itself
The reason why the District Court could not allow the use of the name itself was that the Naming Committee had not assessed other general conditions for names. It can be assumed that, if Ingólfur submits a new application for approval of his name, the committee will be asked to take a stand on other general issues, such as whether the name is adaptable to the Icelandic grammar rules.
Within Ingólfur’s next application, it is quite unlikely that his desired name Lúsífer will be rejected again. This is due to him being willing to take the risk of troubles he might face with this unusual name.
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