Gratulerar, Sverige!

When I was growing up, my friend's mom had a sticker on the back of her minivan that said "Happiness is Being Swedish." If The Knife, Ikea, and meatballs weren't enough to convince you of the truth of that statement, here is a new reason for you: Same-sex marriage is now officially legal in Sweden!

Earlier today, the Swedish Parliament approved adoption of same-sex marriage legislation by an overwhelming majority. Starting on May 1, same-sex couples will be able to legally marry, instead of just joining in civil union (which has been legal in Sweden since 1995).

So, congratulations to all you Swedes out there! Let's just hope that the rest of the world wises up and follows in your progressive footsteps. We have welcomed your easy-to-assemble-yet-stylish furniture into our homes, so why not your marriage laws as well?

What do you think of this legislation? Why do you think it passed in Sweden, but has as of yet failed to pass in the United States? And is it just me, or do Swedish people all seem to be so forward-thinking, good looking, and capable of producing amazing films and pop music? And now they can all get married, too! Lucky.

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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10 Comments Have Been Posted


I agree completely! I wish this would happen here! As to why it hasn't...well, that's a complicated could have a lot to do with the intersections of race, class, religion, etc etc etc...can I just take the easy route and blame the pope? ;)


I am so moving there when I graduate.

Why Sweden?

So, my guess was that Sweden doesn't have a religious right, but after reading the article linked to in the post, I'm wrong. I was also surprised to read that the church of Sweden is moving away from involvement in the legal part of marriage. In the US, the government seems determined to move toward the religious aspect of marriage. My new guess is that instead of being an exemplar of the separation of church and state, the US has become a cautionary tale about why not to involve religion in state politics.
Or b.) Sweden is unaware of what's going on in the US and just happens to be making an inclusive decision about who should have access to marriage based on rational arguments, facts and grown up ideas about adult sexuality. Sounds like a fun way to govern.

it's all good, but

i'm glad to read this in bitch magazine, cause the swedish media has completely failed to report on this. some of my friends say that the right wing (now in power) said that they didn't want to make a big deal about it, since if they were to say anything about how great they are, it is pretty clear that the left is more gay-friendly and have discussions with lgbt-people.

also, i think that most swedish people thought that gender neutral marriage was already allowed, not understanding the difference between unions and marriage.

my view on this that it's about damn time! the netherlands, belgium, and norway among other were way before us! and sweden still has a long way to go, for example, there is still forced castration if you have a sex change (no pregnant men), and not all forms of artificial insemination are allowed, making it difficult for same-sex couples to have biological children (no pregnant lesbians).


"Why do you think it passed in Sweden, but has as of yet failed to pass in the United States? And is it just me, or do Swedish people all seem to be so forward-thinking, good looking, and capable of producing amazing films and pop music?"

The answer to all these questions (beside to the question why they are all "so good looking", which is not true because there are as many beautiful people and as many not so beautiful people in Sweden as elsewhere in the world, and secondly this is a question of personal taste) is easy: MONEY.

Sweden as the richtest land in the world (or was it Norway? Does not matter because both) can AFFORD to be forward-thinking because people are rich=happy=tolerant. I think if they had problems with poverty, high unemployment rates or a bad health care system (they have the best in the world, who had guessed) there would, as I believe, unfortunately not be so much space for gender equality changes. This is, I think, also the reason why they have the 40% (why the hell not 50?!?)-women-in-higher-mangement-rate-law in Norway. So the message seems to be: the wealthier a society, the more equality?!?

And it's also the same with film & music. Young talents get a lot support from the state (space, instruments, money). I know a Norwegian band peronally who told me that their Europe-tour would have been impossible without the financial tour-support of the state; it would not have been worth it only with the money from the different bookers and event-organizers, but to get the government money (which seems not to be difficult) is quite a good deal.

Why do you talk about

Why do you talk about Norway? Sweden and Norway is to different countries.

Sorry for posting three times ;-P

I thought it didn't work in the beginning... that's why I tried again (and again).... Sorry, I tried for the first time (and unfortunately don't know how to delete the double posts...)

Nordic states = freedom

I live in Scandinavia right now (Denmark to be exact, though I'm from the US) and most of what everyone said above is true. Social democracies take care of their people in ways the US government simply does not. Unions are legal most everywhere up here, and adoptions for same-sex couples are increasingly available too (Denmark made it legal this March, for example). Part of it is money, but part of it is about a more definitive separation of church/state and open referendums on how to handle these things. My partner is Danish and would never give up Danish citizenship, even if we live in the US, because of the right to vote on so many things here. If you want to be actively involved, you can be. State power is enormous here - meaning if you hate big government, you'd hate this - but the trade-off is that they're much more accountable and have to listen to their constituents, include them in key decisions, etc. I've never met so many people who are so invested in their government. It's refreshing because in so many ways, it works.

I hope this "good will" will

I hope this "good will" will spread all over the world. I'm really glad to see that many countries are growing with the times and supporting its people. Now all we need is for the the rest of the religious groups to follow suit and for these groups to come out of the dark ages and accept the changes in this time and age. VIVA the new unions of all genders and sexualities! Good luck to everyone!

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