At one time the organization was even based in the private home of the chairman. There the organization had its base until the end of last year And now, on the 20th anniversary, we have at last managed to buy our own place in the city center, at Laugavegur 3 fourth floor. This was made possible by generous support of the City Council. There has also been a steady increase of membership, making all our work much easier. But we still have a lot of work to do and it seems that the number of projects increases faster than the number of members. The latter is sponsored by the City Council and the Government and have more resources to push for legal reforms.
According to one activist, FSS is the only group that openly welcomes bisexuals into their circle and works to educate people about bisexuality. Gay Pride in Iceland is usually held in August. You can get more information on the link www. Homosexuality is very well tolerated and the general public very enlightened and friendly. When in small villages in the country use caution if partying with locals. Icelanders are not very used to seeing gay people or straight people for that matter holding hands in public.
You might get looked at, but it will probably just be curious looks rather than frowns. The laws regarding registered partnership are only valid for Icelandic citizens so at least one of the two has to have an Icelandic citizenship for a gay couple to get married in Iceland. Yes and no. The Icelandic parliament has approved Step Adoption in Iceland. Full adoption rights is one of the most important human rights that gay people in Iceland are fighting for.
Yes, the level of tolerance is quite good and it has been getting better with education and open discussion in recent years.
No, gay bashing is not frequent but unfortunately there have been a few incidents. How big is the gay scene in Iceland? Iceland has one gay club called Spotlight www. The crowd ranges from very mixed to mostly gay. See their homepage for more details.
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Fridays are usually designated for the Revolta youth group www. Most popular with the and-up year-old crowd and an occasional stray sailor. Online you can go to www. You can also chat with icelanders on the Ircnet channel gay. To chat on Irc you must have Mirc chat software, available free on www. You then connect to an ircnet server close to you and write: The quickest way is to go into bulletin board and put in an ad.
You can also e-mail to us on office samtokin Gay men meet on gay. On top of that we plan to have a chat-line here on our homepage.
On 27 June, Gay Pride Day, Icelandic lesbians and gays gain the right to enter into marriage before the law. The minister of justice introduced the bill in parliament and while the new law is similar to those passed in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, it also gives gay couples joint custody of the children of either partner. Nowhere have gay couples had such rights up to now. Though a great victory has been won, the new law differs in some ways from the general laws on marriage.
It does not permit the adoption of children by gay or lesbian couples, nor does it provide for the right to artificial insemination. A long and hard struggle preceded the present victory. Times have changed, however, and following an increasingly open debate about homosexuality and homosexuals in the Icelandic media, attitudes have become more positive and have moved in the direction of greater tolerance. A new motion was put to parliament in and unanimously passed.
A committee was set up to investigate the position of lesbians and gays in Iceland and to return an opinion that would become the basis for new legislation. As the Icelandair thunders into the night sky that Friday, I have no second thoughts. It will be an adventure.
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Iceland, an island nation roughly the size of Kentucky, sits at the top of the North Atlantic, its north coast brushing against the Arctic Circle. Because of frequent volcanic activity, and the fact that there are two glaciers covering much of the interior land, only about 21 percent of the island is considered habitable, almost all of it near the coast. The climate, however, is surprisingly moderate, because the gulf stream passes close to the southern shore.
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Winters in south Iceland can be milder than those in New York. The plane flies northward through the night. Outside my window the Northern Lights constantly flare, shifting form and color. I land at Keflavik International airport just after 6 on Saturday morning. The sky is as dark as midnight. I am in search of information, but I quickly discover that in the course of everyday life, this is the place to meet people and socialize as well.
It is, in fact, the center of gay life as well as the official voice of the gay and Lesbian community in Iceland. Financial support comes primarily from the national and city governments.
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He seems happy to drop his tools and talk with me. We sit in the library, a bright, cheerful room that contains over 2, books and videos relating to gay and lesbian life. At 34, he is old enough to remember the darker days of oppression in Iceland. For the past 12 years Iceland has had a growing reputation for tolerance and inclusion of Lesbians and gay men, but that has not come without a struggle.
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Since , there has been remarkable change. He came out at the age of 16, and promptly moved from the nearby town of Selfoss to Reykjavik. All sex subjects were discussed in its pages, including homosexual sex. By the time I came out in , Iceland had revolutionized.
And so it appears, although the shaping of gay life in Iceland has been markedly different from that which has happened in the large cities of Europe and the U. Gays here are very socially integrated. There are no gay baths. Within a week everyone would know my penis size, how good I am in bed, and what my kinks are. There are two dance bars that gays frequent in Iceland. Neither is percent gay. Samtokin estimates the lesbian and gay population at the usual 10 percent, or 28, The gay community, has by necessity a more intimate feeling.
It is, in fact, a reflection of the national ethos as well. Foreign visitors, in fact are in high demand.