Island nation of Iceland votes unanimously to allow marriage equality

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – The parliament of Iceland has voted unanimously to approve marriage equality.

Lawmakers voted 49-0 – with 14 abstaining – to legalize gay marriage.

The bill, which was introduced in March, will now go to President Olafur Ragnar Crimsson, who has indicated that he will sign it into law.

The liberal nation, which has a population of about 320,000, already is one of the most progressive in the world toward LGBT equal rights.

Iceland is the first nation in the world to have an LGBT person as head of state. Openly lesbian politician Johanna Sigurdardóttir became prime minister last year when voters supporting the Social Democrats and their partners, the Left-Greens, ousted the conservative Independent Party that had ruled for 18 years.

Sigurdardóttir and writer/playwright Jonina Leosdotttir entered into a registered partnership in 2002. The prime minister has two adult sons from an earlier marriage.

Iceland is an island in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and the Nordic countries of Norway and Sweden.

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