GayIceland’s story on “the gender neutral primary school” has gotten an overall positive response, not only in Iceland but also worldwide. However there are those who seem to be morally offended, shocked, angered, outraged and quite “outspoken” after hearing the news and some even think that the school officials should be scolded for their actions.

Of course it wouldn’t be the first time Iceland’s moral crusaders grab the torches and pitchforks. Kristín Eva Þórhallsdóttir and Roald Eyvindsson took a look at 10 examples of moral outrage in Icelandic history, that are so ludicrous that it’s hard to believe they ever happened.




Hörður Torfason, musician and founder of Samtökin ‘78. He didn’t return to Iceland for a decade after fleeing the country. However, in the end it was one of the things that caved the path for others to come out.
Hörður Torfason, musician and founder of Samtökin ‘78, didn’t return to Iceland for a decade after fleeing the country. In the end however, the interview with him was one of the things that helped others  come out.

Musician and queer rights activist Hörður Torfason was one of the first openly gay men in Iceland.

He came out in a magazine interview in 1975 that was at the time considered to be so controversial and so scandalous that the respected newspaper “Morgunblaðið” (e. The Morning-paper) didn’t dare publish it. Instead it was published in a liberal glossy magazine called Samúel.

In it Hörður, who was already a well known figure in the Icelandic community, talks openly about being with men and is asked by the reporter if he became gay because he had had enough of women (!).

The nation was shocked by the interview and Hörður had to flee the country to Danmark after receiving several death threats.




In February 2014 Egill Helgason, the host of the literature TV program Kiljan, was concerned that readers of the book “Monestone – The Boy Who Never Was” (i. Mánasteinn – Drengurinn sem aldrei var til) would be shocked by the descriptive sex scenes in the book.

The author Sjón, who received the Icelandic national book awards for the book, responded by saying said that people admitted that they were startled by how thoroughly he describes gay sex between the story’s protagonist, a 16-year-old boy and his customer on the first three pages of the book.

Story: The book follows Moonstone, who lives in Reykjavík in the very dramatic year of 1918. He’s poor, he’s gay, he is absolutely fascinated by movies and to top it all off he sells him self to strangers – male strangers – to be able to afford seeing every film that comes to town.




Around the time Samtökin ‘78 (the national queer organization) were founded in the late seventies, many people where simply outraged in Iceland.

Newspaper Vísir asked pedestrians what their thoughts where on the matter and some confessed that they didn’t like the idea of an organisation for sodomites; in fact they felt it was plain wrong.

Others were less concerned. An “office girl” in her twenties for example said that she didn’t have anything against the organization as long as they kept a low profile.

“Or else homosexuality could possible end up becoming fashionable,” she pointed out, “just like blue jeans!”




In April last year when the town officials of Hafnarfjörður signed a contract with Samtökin ‘78 to educate schoolchildren on queer issues, all hell broke loose.

One lady became furious when she heard about the contract: “I’ve seen how these lesbians go about and you could almost vomit,” she said on Útvarp Saga. “It’s just porn! I think it’s disgusting!” Photo/courtesy of Nútíminn.

Icelandic folk musician Gylfi Ægisson accused the town of crushing children’s souls, ruining their childhood!

Listeners of local radio station “Útvarp Saga” (e. Radio Saga) called in to express their outrage. Some demanded to know just how exactly Samtökin intended to teach the innocent children, whether they were going to have sex in front of them in the class room or what!

Others saw it as a deviant way to convert, recruit, and even seduce schoolchildren into “the homosexual lifestyle” and a Facebook-group called “Protect the children” (i. Barnaskjól) was founded by Gylfi.




The same Gylfi Ægisson has also repeatedly spoken out against the Reykjavík Pride parade, accusing the organisers of corrupting the youth!

Every year about one-third of the Icelandic nation shows up for the Reykjavík Pride Parade.

In September 2013 Gylfi filed charges against the organizers, citing Article 93 of the ChildProtection Law, which states that concerts and festivals of a sexual nature must prohibit children under the age of 18 from being present.

Gylfi made claims that not only had little children heard dirty remarks made during the parade, but that parents had also seen penis shaped lollipops being passed around!

Later it turned out that the lollies were shaped like pacifiers and Gylfi admitted that he hadn’t actually been to the parade himself. But, he still wouldn’t withdraw the charges as there was just too much at stake!

However, in the end the police refused to investigate the charges, saying that they had no merit.




Amrican soldiers were to blame for the gay germ that was spreading and spreading fast in Iceland in the fifties.
American soldiers were to blame for the gay germ that was spreading and spreading fast in Iceland in the fifties, according to the Icelandic paper Mánudagsblaðið.

In the fifties moral crusaders began expressing their concerns that Icelanders were showing serious signs of moral decline, and so local papers started printing startling stories on drug abuse, swinging, homosexuality and general debauchery.

In 1952 “Tíminn” (e. Time) for example published a shocking account of an Icelandic bugger who had been caught in bed with a “negro”(!).

In 1955 the “Mánudagsblaðið” (e. The Monday-paper) published an article with the headline “Is buggery on the uprise in Iceland?”, where the author claimed that incidents of homosexuality had increased so much in only 15 years, that there was clearly some kind of “gay germ” going around – most likely brought to the country by Amercian soldiers!

For the next decades papers kept printing articles in the same style, some of which relied on fear-mongering; The Monday-paper even went as far as urging the public to do something to prevent the uprise of homosexuals who seemed to be lurking everywhere, just waiting to pray on the young!

Extra: Take a look at this so-called educational film on homosexuality, made in the Unite States in the late sixties.



Before Páll Óskar became Iceland’s most beloved pop star, decent and respectable Icelanders were time and time again shocked by his “scandalous” behaviour.

There were his radio shows Sætt & Sóðalegt (e. Sweet & Dirty) and Dr. Love, which people couldn’t stop complaining and gushing about because of the radio host’s unfiltered talk on sex – even though they wouldn’t admit actually listening to them.

An album with a shocking title.

Then there was his album with the shocking title – “Deep Inside” – and equally shocking cover, depicting the star dressed in purple spangled shorts!

But shock wise nothing, nothing came close to Páll Óskar’s performance in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997During the “outrageous” performance BBC’s commentator Terry Wogan said that Eurovision would never be the same again and he hoped Páll Óskars’s mother wasn’t watching!

And what exactly was it that shocked – not only Icelanders – but the whole of Europe?

Páll Óskar in black leather pants singing “My Last Dance” (i. Minn hinsti dans), backed by four latex-clad girls “provocatively frolicking” on a white leather sofa. A performance still listed as one of the most controversial Eurovision acts ever (!).


In October last year blogger Jón Valur Jensson took it upon himself to warn the nation against having to much anal sex.

A genealogy buff, a fan of christian political agenda, a true patriot and as it also turns out a little bit of an expert on the rectum, Jón Valur points out that anal intercourse – commonly practised by gay and bisexual men – is not only anatomically incorrect. It is also very damaging to ones health. And quite possibly life threatening!

Photo: A dilated rectum (that could well force people into wearing adult diapers) is only one of many risks they should take into consideration before indulging in anal sex, Jón Valur warns his readers and cites several studies on the matter. 



When talks of legalizing same-sex marriage started in Iceland in the nineties many people felt the need to express their distaste.

Infuriated by talks of marriage equality in Iceland a respectable housewife had enough and decided to express her outrage in the media.

One of them was the former bishop of Iceland, Karl Sigurbjörnsson, who crusaded against marriage equality, saying:

„I think we owe it to marriage that we at least do not throw it to the garbage dump without consideration.“

Another was a respectable housewife who in an open letter to newspaper Morgunblaðið (published July 24th 1997) asked gay people to keep their private life private and stop with the crazy demands.

She described being gay as a disability that some people had the misfortune to be born with. And just like other minority groups with disabilities gay people should keep to themselves and life quietly and by all means not bother priests or congress with their sex life.

She ended her letter in these words: “Stop this nonsense and just have sex with whoever you chose but keep quiet about it!”


For years gay men and lesbians were those-who-must-not-be-named on air at RÚV (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service) – a little bit like Voldemort in the magical community in the Harry Potter Books.

RÚV was not alone in banning the words "lesbía" and "hommi". Other Icelandic media companies, such as DV, did the same. However they saw nothing wrong with using the good old Icelandic word "kynvillingur" - which is comparable to the words bugger or sodomite.
RÚV was not alone in banning the words “lesbía” and “hommi”. Other Icelandic media companies, such as DV, did the same. However they saw nothing wrong with using the good old Icelandic word “kynvillingur” – which is comparable to the words bugger or sodomite.

The words they had chosen to define themselves with, “hommi” (e. gay man) and “lesbía” (e. lesbian) were adapted from English and didn’t comply with the strict language rules RÚV followed.

At least that was the main excuse, until the director of RÚV turned it into a matter of propriety in a formal letter he wrote to Samtökin ‘78 in 1985 where he asked the organization to rephrase one of its ads by removing the plural “hommar” and “lesbíur”.

He explained that by law any words that were a breach of propriety were forbidden from the air, and since the words hommi and lesbía clearly surpassed all boundaries of decency, they had to be rejected. Of course Samtökin were free to advertise their meetings, he continued, just not by directly addressing those they were intended for.

Times have certainly changed, and earlier this year RÚV aired an episode of children show "Stundin okkar" (e. Our hour) where singer Páll Óskar addressed gay issues in a simple manner by saying: “you can’t decide how your heart beats. It just beats.”
Times have changed, and earlier this year RÚV aired an episode of the children show “Stundin okkar” where singer Páll Óskar addressed gay issues in a simple manner by saying: “you can’t decide how your heart beats. It just beats.”

Contact Us

Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.