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Iceland’s parliament unanimously approves gay marriage

Iceland’s parliament unanimously approves gay marriage

Iceland, the only country in the world to have an openly gay head of state, passed a law on Friday allowing same-sex partners to get married in a vote which met with no political resistance, reports Reuters.

The Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero to change the wording of marriage legislation to include matrimony between “man and man, woman and woman,” in addition to unions between men and women.

Iceland, a socially tolerant island nation of about 320,000 people, became the first country to elect an openly gay head of state in 2009 when Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir became prime minister after being nominated by her party.

“The attitude in Iceland is fairly pragmatic,” said Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political scientist at the University of Iceland. “It (gay marriage) has not been a big issue in national politics — it’s not been controversial.”

Althingi members welcomed the move after the vote, saying it was 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.

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