It is not easy to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual in any country. Those on the sexual fringes of mainstream society must be better at what they do and work harder to break down barriers of intolerance. Unable to create and raise nuclear families of their own, openly-homosexual and -lesbian couples tolerate repression and live their lives in the shadows. They depend on community and government support to justify the rights others take for granted.
Not so in Iceland, the first nation in all Europe that broke barriers by electing the first openly-homosexual Prime Minister. Generally-speaking, in fact, Icelanders are a more tolerant people and have more supportive officials.

LGBT in Europe

European countries have split opinions when it comes to LGBT rights. Out of 16 of the major countries comprising Europe, ten of them have legalized same-sex marriages. Fourteen countries allow civil unions between gay couples. Scotland and Ireland are also in heated discussion, with regards to passing legislation on gay marriage.

LGBT in Iceland



GPLegislation in Iceland is very accommodating of the LGBT community. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in the country since 1940 and recognition of same-sex relationships legal since 1996. By 2008, same-sex couples could register their partnership in church or some religious congregation as well as with a civil registrar. Iceland therefore became the ninth country in the world to allow same-sex marriage.

In 2006, the government took the next step of allowing same-sex adoption. Four years later, the law on same-sex marriage was approved. The government also bans all forms of anti-gay discrimination. This is prohibited by Article 65 of the Constitution, which stipulates clearly that everyone is to be equal before the law and is entitled to their human rights regardless of “sex, religion, opinion, national origin, race, color, property, birth or other status”.

The legal status of LGBT people in Iceland is one of the best in the world and the rights of the individual are protected in the country’s constitution. The rights of married same-sex couples to adopt children are in all respects the same as for heterosexual married couples, should they fulfill those conditions that apply for the adoption of children. Lesbians who are married or cohabiting have the same rights to assisted fertilization as heterosexual women who are married or cohabiting.

Watch a movie

While watching a movie sounds like counter intuitive, you have never watched a movie in Reykjavik and you might not want to experience it anywhere else. The Cinema No2 at the Old Harbour Village is located inside the loft of an old fishermen´s lodging where fishermen used to fix their boats, mend their nets, and sleep in bunks. Since then the place was remodeled as little as possible to retain the old atmosphere, the place provides an ideal setting for viewing old documentary films and movies centered around the Icelandic culture.

Gay Pride

Reykjavik is very proud of its LGBT community and has become the beacon of what is commonly referred to as “rainbow colored light” in the past few years. All LGBT folks in Iceland enjoy the same rights as everybody else regardless of their sexual orientation, including the right to marry. Reykjavik is also home to the award winning travel service Pink Iceland – a company devoted to the travel needs of LGBT guests – and has a great number of gay-friendly hotels, bars and nightclubs.

Gay Pride Festivals


gay pride2Reykjavík city is extremely proud of its fabulous Gay Pride festivities, which have been adding a spectacular sparkle to the month of August since 1999. A huge, merry and colorful Gay flotilla parades through the center of town followed by a grand outdoor concert attended by over one hundred thousand people – lesbians and gay men, bisexuals and transgender people, friends, relatives, fellow citizens and numerous foreign visitors – all showing solidarity with the gay cause on the second weekend of August every year.

This year, the Gay Pride festivities spanned August 6 to the 11th. This event not only promotes the LGBT community and holds them up for people to notice and admire them; Gay Pride also allows the whole Nordic nation to unite and celebrate the wonderful LGBT freedoms that the government of Iceland allows this segment of the community to enjoy. Gay Pride also celebrates the fact that in Iceland, they allow the LGBT community to live as they are without restricting their individuality.

It is a six day festival with lots of exhilarating events and lectures. Also, there is a Queer Cruise, Gay Walks, a family festival, concert and gallery openings. The Gay Pride gala is usually capped by the magnificent Pride Parade and a huge dance on Saturday.