Althingi, the parliament of Iceland, this afternoon voted to change the country’s marriage laws. 49 of the country’s 63 MPs voted in favour of the bill and none voted against. The law changes the wording of the law so that marriage is the legal union of two individuals and not only of a man and a woman.
It was also decided to end the country’s system of registered partnerships for same-sex couples, meaning marriage will become their only option – as was always the case for opposite-sex couples.
Althingi members welcomed the move after the vote, saying today is a great day for everybody everywhere involved in the struggle for gay rights and human rights generally.
The bill will go to the President for ratification; but that is a formality as the Icelandic President has only twice sent a bill to public referendum in the history of the Republic of Icelandic. Also, public opinion polls suggest the marriage bill is extremely popular.
Iceland’s Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, became the world’s first openly gay leader in February 2009.