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The Washington Post: The story of how Christianity arrived in Iceland, according to Nordic lore, reads like a scene ripped from “Game of Thrones.” A millennium ago, Christianity had just taken over Norway. So the Norwegian king dispatched a mighty warrior missionary named Thangbrand to Iceland to spread the good news. Thangbrand did, along the way spearing dead a great many heathens. Then came a test that would decide whether the icy island would accept Christianity or stay faithful to Thor and the other Norse gods.
Religion News Service: Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.
AP: In the age of instant information, globe-spanning viral videos and the World Wide Web, can a thoroughly wired country become a porn-free zone? Authorities in Iceland want to find out.
Telegraph: Iceland could become the first Western democracy to attempt censorship of the internet under radical proposals to block online pornography.
AP: Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: A devastating blow for “Gender Theory”: the Nordic Council of Ministers (a regional inter-governmental co-operation consisting of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland) has decided to close down the NIKK Nordic Gender Institute. The NIKK had been the flagship of “Gender Theory”, providing the “scientific” basis for social and educational policies that, from the 1970s onward, had transformed the Nordic countries to become the most “gender sensitive” societies in the world.
Washington Post reports.
France24.com: Voters in Iceland issued a resounding “no” in a referendum on whether to approve a renegotiated deal to compensate Britain and the Netherlands over the 2008 collapse of Icesave Bank, leaving the issue to be settled in court.
Hindustan Times: “The Icelandic Parliament, after much persuasion from the couple and heated debates back home, decided to give the baby a social security number. This means Joel could be the first surrogate baby to be granted citizenship of Iceland.”
Christian Science Monitor: “The World Economic Forum released its 2010 Global Gender Gap Report on Tuesday. The report, which indexed 134 countries this year, evaluates how much of the gender gap each country has eliminated through economic opportunity, health access, education, and political empowerment. Below are the 10 countries that have been most successful.”
The Reykjavik Grapevine: “Jenis, speaking to Icelandic radio, added furthermore that he would not dine with Jóhanna, because \’to do so would be to show acceptance of gay marriage, which is against the platform of the Centrist party.’”
Yahoo (AFP): “Reykjavik’s comedian-turned-politician mayor, Jon Gnarr, opened the Icelandic capital’s gay pride festival this week in drag, in a blond wig and with bright red lipstick.”
“Argentina becomes first Latin-American nation to legislate in favor of marriage for same-sex partners after Iceland takes the plunge”
“In the early morning hours of July 15, Argentina’s Senate concluded a 16 hour debate by voting 33-27 (with 3 abstentions) in favor of legislation that will provide full access to marriage for same-sex couples in that country. The Senate vote endorsed a bill that was approved by the lower house of the legislature on May 5, 2010, by a vote of 125-109, with 6 abstentions. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is a strong supporter of the legislation, so final enactment is assured. The legislation will substitute the term ‘the marrying parties’ for ‘husband and wife’ in the existing laws governing marriage. It becomes effective upon publication in the official bulletin, which was expected to take place within a few days of the vote. Further legislation will be needed to make necessary adjustments in other statutes. The Argentinian action came just a month after Iceland’s Parliament had voted unanimously, 49-0, on June 12 to approve legislation allowing same-sex marriages, with the law coming into force on June 27.”
eTurboNews: “[Iceland] is set to legalize same-sex marriage this weekend, according to United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay. … Iceland will become the ninth country to legalize same-sex marriage following legislation that passed the country’s parliament earlier this month. Same-sex marriage is already legal in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden, as well as in some areas of the United States and Mexico.”
Reuters: “The Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero to change the wording of marriage legislation to include matrimony between “man and man, woman and woman,” in addition to unions between men and women.”
IceNews: “The National Church of Iceland yesterday took no formal position on a current parliamentary bill which would amend marriage laws to include gay couples. The national synod instead voted to refer the matter to the church’s doctrine and rites committee.”
Jakarta Globe: “Today seven countries, five US states and several Latin American cities have legalized same-sex marriage. The Netherlands ushered the way in 2001, the first nation to permit same-sex couples to marry legally. This historic decision marked a turning point, with demands for equality reverberating across borders. Barriers fell as Belgium (2003), Canada and Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway and Sweden (2009) each approved legislation.”
On Top Magazine (“gay advocacy website”): “The tiny island nation of Iceland (pop. 32,000) is preparing to legalize gay marriage. The government introduced its gender-neutral marriage bill on March 23, CarnalNation.com reported.”
UPI: “New legislation in Iceland will ban stripteases and prevent clubs from making a profit from employee nudity, authorities say.”
NY Times: “Iceland’s voters expressed their outrage on Saturday against bankers, the government and what they saw as foreign bullying, overwhelmingly rejecting a plan to pay $5.3 billion to Britain and the Netherlands to reimburse customers of a failed Icelandic bank.”
Boston Globe: “Iceland is bracing for a public backlash against the use of taxpayer money to pay its international debts — the latest stumbling block in the tiny island’s difficult struggle out of a deep recession.”
BBC: “Iceland’s president has refused to sign a controversial bill to repay $5bn (£3.1bn) to the UK and the Netherlands . . . ‘It’s seen as a blow to the country’s hopes of a quick entry to the European Union,’ he said.”
GayPolitics.com: “Iceland’s openly lesbian caretaker prime minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, will keep her post after Saturday’s national elections that saw her center-left coalition capture 35 of 63 seats in parliament. Sigurdardottir becomes the world’s first elected openly gay head of government.”
Washington Post: On a frigid evening this month, more than 10,000 people gathered outside a 13th-century cathedral in this Baltic capital to protest the government’s handling of Latvia’s economic crisis and demand early elections . . . “People here instinctively …
The Christian Telegraph reports: “Katrín Thóra Vídisdóttir and Erla Björk Pálmadóttir will today become the first lesbian couple in Iceland to have their cohabitation validated in church, following a recent law amendment. It is debated whether such a validation can …