These must be confusing times for social conservatives, you know, the folks who believe that a certain Big Guy created Adam and Eve, whose descendants are expected to pair up in matrimony — not any kind of matrimony of course, but the kind where the plumbing fits.
I don’t think they were overjoyed to hear that the current Prime Minister of Iceland, Johana Sigurdardottir (pic at right) wed her long-time partner Johina Leosdottir Sunday, 27 June 2010, the day that a change in Icelandic marriage law took effect, permitting same-sex marriage.
Iceland now defines marriage as a union between two consenting adults regardless of sex. This sparsely-populated North Atlantic country becomes the ninth in the world to legalise same-sex marriages.
Leosdottir and Sigurdardottir, who became head of government at the height of financial panic February last year, had been in a civil union for many years prior to the wedding.
Reuters reported that “The new law was celebrated at a church service on Sunday, which was also the international day for homosexual rights,” but I don’t see any report that her wedding was held in a church.
The law does allow a religious exception, with text saying, “Ministers will always be free to perform marriage ceremonies, but never obliged to.” The head of the Church of Iceland, a Lutheran-based denomination, has encouraged individual pastors to abide by the law.
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Three days before Iceland’s prime minister married her love, Australia found itself with its first woman head of government. Julia Gillard took office when she successfully challenged Kevin Rudd for leadership of the Australian Labour Party which holds a majority in Parliament.
Also significant, though much less noticed, was that Gillard’s rise to the top completes a female trinity at the top of the Australian state. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, who is represented by Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Here she is in the photo below:
Gillard’s long-term partner is Tim Matheson, a hair-stylist, but any speculation that they would formalise their relationship by tying the knot was quickly banished. Word was put out that they intend to continue the present cohabiting arrangement.
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Its been argued that the gay push for marriage rights is in essence a conservative impulse, one that believes in formal structures of monogamous commitment. The thing that holds back many social conservatives from embracing this argument is simply that they cannot get their heads around the non-heterosexuality of it.
With this conjunction of events, I’m just tickled pink wondering which of the two prime ministers social conservatives would rather have in charge of their government: the married lesbian or the unmarried heterosexual “living in sin”.