Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, both Iceland’s first female and openly LGBT Prime Minister, was honoured yesterday with an award from Samtökin ’78.
In a speech during the ceremony, Samtökin ’78 chairperson Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir stated: “Overnight, Jóhanna became a role model for millions of people around the world, precisely for being who she was. The story of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is therefore a story of enormous contrasts, but also a story of perseverance and victory that largely reflects the struggle for the rights of homosexuals in Iceland. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir showed in such a way that gay people were able to do anything.”
Among the deeds that were recognized at the ceremony was her championing of reformed marriage laws in 2010, which secured equal legal recognition for same sex couples.
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was elected as an MP in Iceland’s Social Democratic Party in 1978. After being appointed as Iceland’s Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security, she lost her bid for party leadership in 1994, after which she gained fame for her saying, “my time will come!”
Samtökin ’78, or Association ’78, is a queer interest and activism association in Iceland which was founded in 1978 to advocate for the rights of sexual minorities in Iceland.
In addition to her Icelandic superlatives, Jóhanna is also recognized as the world’s first openly LGBT head of state.
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