11-06-2013 | Large majority agrees with civil marriage for homosexuals
A recent Gallup poll shows that 68 per cent of Faroese people would like to see the marriage law changed to include civil marriage for homosexual couples.
Kári Mikkelsen, journalist
More than two thirds of Faroese people believe that homosexuals should be allowed to be married under the law. A recent poll, which was commissioned by LGBT Føroyar and conducted by Gallup, found that as many as 68 per cent of Faroese people agree that homosexual couples should have the right to civil marriage.
Civil marriage – as defined in the poll – would enable homosexual people to marry in town halls and sheriffs' offices, but not in churches or other houses of worship. Nevertheless, only 27 per cent of the respondents said they were against allowing homosexuals to marry in houses of worship.
According to the poll, there was a majority in favour of same-sex civil marriage in all regions of the Faroe Islands.
'This shows what we have long suspected, namely that Faroese people are much more open-minded than the political landscape indicates', says Sonja Jógvansdóttir, member of the committee in LGBT Føroyar.
Eiler Fagraklett – another committee member in the organisation – urges the parliament to reflect public opinion when the issue comes up again.
However, it is not certain that a change to the marriage law would be viable in the present political situation. One of the coalition parties, the Centre Party, has pointed out on several occasions that it would not accept any changes to the marriage law in favour of homosexuals.
On the other hand, the Prime Minister, Kaj Leo Johannesen, believes that it should be up to each member of parliament to vote according to their own conviction if there were a proposal to change the marriage law. This would mean that the Centre Party would not be able to take other coalition partners as hostages by threatening to leave the coalition if they agreed with the changes.
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