Webitorial – Giving Us Hope, Johanna
The times they are indeed a-changing. In the US of A, we have a mixed-race Prez and now in Iceland a lesbian has taken the reigns as the first out lesbian leader of any country. Not just that, but she is also the first woman to enter the office of PM in Iceland. Johanna Sigurdardottir has been given something of a poisoned chalice, however, as Iceland is in dire economic condition.
The Republic of Iceland has an enviable history when it comes to gay rights. According to gayice.com, “The first milestone victory on the legal front came in 1996 with the passing of laws on confirmed cohabitation, but even so, gays and lesbians were still barred from adopting or seeking assisted pregnancies in Iceland’s free public hospitals. On June 27th 2006 yet another important step was taken with a legislation granting same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples without any limitations.”
The group were understandably proud as punch with the appointment saying, “In only thirty years attitudes towards gays and lesbians have been totally transformed in Iceland. The appointment of an openly gay prime minister captures those changes and sets an example for the rest of the world.”
There is a huge challenge ahead for the former flight attendant and union activist. As head of a coalition of her own Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Greens, Sigurdardottir will be striving to drag the country back on its financial feet and she only has six months to do it until the next elections. Predictions as to whether she’ll be successful have not yet been forthcoming as, at this stage any nay-sayers could be seen to be raining on the parade.
Sigurdardottir is Iceland’s longest-serving MP having spent 30 years in cabinet. She’s hugely popular and, according to a December poll, a massive 75% of people are happy with her work. Are you listening Biffo?
Can you imagine? Someone at the helm of our country who leads? Who we’re happy with? Proud of? And they’re female. And they’re gay. There may be only one letter separating our countries, but we’re worlds apart.
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