And then there were….SEVEN!

Iceland has just become the seventh country in Europe to approve same sex marriage, by a unanimous vote in the lower house of parliament. The law will come into effect as soon as June 27 this year – just weeks away. The ease of passage should not be any surprise: Iceland already has the world’s first openly lesbian Prime Minister (Johanna Sigurðardóttir).

Johanna Sigurðardóttir, Icelandic PM

The wording of the law follows that of Sweden in permitting, but not requiring, ministers of religion to solemnize same sex marriage just as they do other marriages. The country’s Lutheran Church, however, has not yet followed the example of their Swedish counterparts in conferring religious approval for church weddings. This decision will be eagerly awaited.

It is worth pausing here to reflect how the pace of approval in Europe is accelerating since the first full marriages were introduced less than 10 years ago:

2001 – Netherlands

2oo3 – Belgium

2005 – Spain

2009 – Norway, Sweden

2010 – Portugal, Iceland.

Legislation has also been promised, but not yet enacted, in Slovenia, Denmark and Luxembourg.

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