Iceland passes conversion therapy ban that’s trans-inclusive. None voted against. “Landslide majority” for human rights! Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir: “The legislation had cross party support in parliament, despite attempts from known anti-trans hate groups under English influence to oppose it, and wrongfully claiming they managed to ‘kill the bill’ … Their arguments were dismissed as anti-scientific and anti-trans rhetoric.”

Iceland passes historic conversion therapy ban and yes, it’s trans-inclusive by Harriet Williamson, June 10, 2023, The Pink News

The Icelandic parliament has passed a law banning so-called conversion therapy practices on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity in a landslide majority.

On Friday (9 June), the Nordic country joined Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Spain, Germany, France, Malta and New Zealand in banning harmful conversion practices

Not a single representative voted against the bill, proposed by Viðreisnar parliamentary party chair and Reform Party MP Hanna Katrín Friðriksson, with 53 voting ‘yes’ and three abstaining

Friðriksson has previously said that conversion practices are “based purely on ignorance and reactionary ideas” and have “no place in our society”, according to the Reykjavik Grapevine.

According to Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir, a writer and expert on LGBTQ+ issues in Iceland, the overwhelming majority voting for the ban in the Althingi (Icelandic parliament) showed that the legislation was widely supported, even after transphobic attempts to kill it.

“The legislation had cross party support in parliament, despite attempts from known anti-trans hate groups under English influence to oppose it, and wrongfully claiming they managed to ‘kill the bill’,” she reported on Twitter

“Their arguments were dismissed as anti-scientific and anti-trans rhetoric.”

Posts on the parenting message board Mumsnet and from UK-based anti-trans accounts on Twitter have erroneously celebrated the ban being dropped in previous days.

Iceland became the first country in the world to have an openly gay head of government in 2009, when Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was appointed Iceland’s first female prime minister.

Iceland’s current prime minister is the Left-Green Movement politician Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

The European nation currently ranks 90/100 on Equaldex’s global LGBTQ+ rights index, a position that will likely improve further when it is updated to reflect the comprehensive conversion therapy ban. 

Iceland recognises same-sex marriage, allows citizens to change their registered gender without medical interventions and register as a third gender with the ‘X’ gender marker on official documents. Same-sex couples can legally adopt in Iceland, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is illegal under Icelandic law. 

Iceland ranks highly for LGBTQ+ rights on the Equaldex gobal index. (Getty Images)

As the UK lags behind other countries worldwide on implementing a complete, effective and trans-inclusive ban on conversion practices, divisions in the Conservative Party under Rishi Sunak over trans rights have become ever-more pronounced.

Jónsdóttir told PinkNews that the historic vote demonstrates that “justice will prevail over prejudice”. 

“This ban on all conversion practices is an important reminder that vital legal progress for all LGBT+ people isn’t a controversial issue for those that centre justice and compassion in their politics. 

“During what can only be described as a concentrated backlash against trans rights and LGBT+ in general in sends a strong message that progress can be achieved, and that in the end justice will prevail over prejudice.”


Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir@UglaStefania June 9, 2023:

BREAKING: The Icelandic Parliament has just passed a law against conversion practices based on sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity with a vast majority vote; 53 yes, 3 abstained, none against.

The legislation had cross party support in parliament, despite attempts from known anti-trans hates groups under English influence to oppose it, and wrongfully claiming they managed to ‘kill the bill’. Their arguments were dismissed as anti-scientific and anti-trans rhetoric.

Major thanks to everyone who pushed this important legislation forward. It’s an important reminder that progress can still be made amidst rising anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and legislations, and the rights and liberty of LGBTQIA+ people need to be secured and protected.

Refer also to:

Emmett Macfarlane @EmmMacfarlane:

We need to stamp out this blight of transphobic stupidity. These assholes should be arrested for attempting to incite assault on a minor.

As soon as you’re demanding a nine year-old’s clothes be removed, you should be removed from the premises, preferably in the back of a police car.

Samuel Singer@samuelsingerlaw:

There are approx. 100,000 trans or non-binary people in Canada, out of 38 million (Stats Canada). Yet they are coming after us. Protests in front of schools. Targeted harassment of trans people. False accusations and denials that we exist. The backlash is here, Canada.

“Unable to force women to surrender control over their bodies, unable to force gay men and women back into the closet, unable to force their perversion of Christianity onto the rest of us, the far right has decided to go after trans people.”

“Those who are trans or non-binary make up about 10 per cent of the one million LGBTQ+ people in Canada, according to StatsCan. That they are relatively few in number makes it even more important that we stand with them”

Neil Before Zod™@WaytowichNeil:

I cannot believe that an acceptable tactic of the far right is to stand outside of schools and discuss the sexuality of underage students and then get violent when challenged.

lysbeth @SloaneFragment:

bigots: but how will i explain lgbt+ ppl to my kids? think of the children!

non-bigots: okay let’s educate them in schools

bigots: parents should teach their kids about lgbt+ when they’re old enough! to ensure there’s no ‘grooming’! ooooh think of the children!

endless cycle.

T. Ryan Gregory is too funny, too brilliant! So many full grown scaredy cats, many of them Canadian lawyers, including past directors of their self regulator, the LSO.

T. Ryan Gregory:

Before the I started talking about pandemic stuff on Twitter, I had no idea that so many full grown humans were so scared of mythological creatures, masks, and pronouns in bios.

And, on June 9, 2023, my favourite of Dr. Gregory’s tweets, ever:

“Burned out” makes it sound like what happened is that you simply ran out of energy. No, the correct term is “let down” — by leaders, by institutions, by people you trusted. There’s plenty of drive left, if only you were supported rather than disappointed.

Thank you Iceland for lawmaking to support people that need support and protection rather than brutalizing them further (as so many do and as my ex lead lawyer Murray Klippenstein did to me).

And, thank you Iceland for recognizing that humans are varied and much much more than just hate-filled extreme right wing and/or of cruelly archaic prejudiced religions that are their way, or no way.

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