Friday, July 2, 2010

An Historic Wedding

Iceland’s Prime Minister has wed her longtime girlfriend, making history by becoming the world’s first sitting head-of-state to enter into a gay marriage. While this would be unheard of in many parts of the world, fellow Nordic nations seem to be more than ready to accept the marriage of 67-year-old Johanna Sigurdardottir to her girlfriend.

Scandinavia has long been at the forefront of tolerance. Gay and lesbian lawmakers and clergy have become common.

Respected Swedish lawmaker Fredrick Federlev, who also happens to be a cross-dresser, said, “There is some kind of passion for social justice here, that everybody should be treated the same.”

In spite of the advances in gay rights over the past decades, it is all but unimaginable to think of a gay American President, much less a President entering into a gay marriage.

Across Europe, the situation varies. Many countries have high-ranking openly gay politicians, including Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe who is considered a strong contender for France ’s 2012 Presidential elections.

This is a sharp contrast to many Catholic dominated countries like Italy and the Baltic region.

In Africa, homosexuals in politics would be inconceivable, where 37 countries have anti-gay laws.

When she heard about the Icelandic leader’s marriage, Uganda ’s ruling party spokeswoman, Mary Karooro Okurutu said that Iceland ’s “Society is finished, they have no morals.” Uganda is currently considering a law that would impose the death penalty on some gays.

Many human rights groups believe Europe to be the forefront in the fight for gay rights.

"In the current climate of U.S. public opinion it is impossible to imagine a U.S. president who is openly gay and who marries their longtime partner," said Peter Tatchell, spokesman for the London-based human rights group Outrage. “In Europe the reaction is completely different – people just don’t care.”

I don't know how much I have to add to this. I'm of two minds on this one.

I think it's great that it's finally happening. Parts of the world at least are waking up and realizing that some things just aren't their goddamn business.

But there's still a part of me that truly feels that if we were as advanced as we believed, this wouldn't be news.

As Mr. Tatchell said, we ought not to even care.

And if you care, I'm listening to:

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