Marriage Equality July Hero of the Month
7 Jul 2010
Iceland's Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, is the recipient of Marriage Equality's Hero of the Month for July.
On June 12, Iceland's Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero to change the wording of marriage legislation to include matrimony between same-sex couples in addition to unions between men and women. Iceland is the ninth country in the world to legalise marriage for same sex couples. Registered partnerships in 1996, adoption rights for same-sex couples in 2006 and marriage rights in 2010 were all unanimously voted in by the Icelandic Government and are proof of Iceland's history of equality legislation.
Johanna Sigurdardottir is a social democrat and became Prime Minister on February 1 2009. She entered into a civil union with long time partner Jonina Leosdottir in 2002 and they changed their civil union into marriage when the law came into effect on June 27, thus becoming one of the first same-sex couples to marry in Iceland.
She is the World's first openly gay or lesbian political leader and the first head of state to marry her same sex partner.
Known for her work for people with disabilities, older people and women, and seen by many as a unifying character capable of solving tensions in Iceland, she is also, (perhaps even unintentionally), a hero for LGBT people worldwide. In a country where her Government legislated for equality for same sex couples without fuss, it may not be big news that she is the world's first openly lesbian or gay Prime Minister and that she is married to her same sex partner, but this fact, combined with her career of fighting for the welfare and equality of minority groups makes her our Hero of the month in July.