Saturday, 31 January 2009

Breaking a glacier ceiling for gay rights

Iceland’s new Social Democratic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir is to lead a coalition government with the left-green party, and to seek a mandate for European Union membership in a General Election in May.

Over at LiberalConspiracy, I note that Eurosceptic MEP Dan Hannan is still giving Iceland advice, and wonder whether they might have stopped listening by now.

Sigurdardottir will be Iceland’s first female prime minister and the first openly gay or lesbian premier anywhere in the world (excepting a very brief caretaker premiership for a couple of hours in Norway apparently). That must be a historic moment worth marking, though Icelanders think of it as a "non-issue" and so would prefer us to do so without too much Obamaesque fuss, according to a profile on PinkNews:

A country of only 300.000 with a gay scene that is largely embedded into mainstream culture, Iceland is considered one of the safest places in the world to be gay. Because of its small size Reykjavik’s gay scene co-exists to a greater extent within mainstream night life than in Britain and the rest of Europe. This is one reason why the Icelandic gay scene is so widely accepted as normal and a non-issue by the public.

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