Presidential candidates on queer rights

The Icelandic presidential election will be held on June the 25th. The race is shaping up to be an interesting one with nine candidates running. We decided to ask what their thoughts are on queer rights.

We asked them two questions: Will you exercise your power to fight for the queer rights movement if elected president?

And if you’re elected president of Iceland, will you let Iceland’s stance on the queer rights movement be known when traveling to areas of the world where these rights are broken?

Ástþór Magnússon is running for president for the fourth time. He is an interesting character who usually gets his message across using inventive and creative ways. But what is his take on the queer rights movement?

Ástþór Magnússon.
Ástþór Magnússon.

“I believe that the battle for queer rights has been won in Iceland and that queer people now have the same basic human rights as other individuals in society,” says Ástþór and goes on to answer the latter question.

“I believe that the battle for queer rights has been won in Iceland and that queer people now have the same basic human rights as other individuals in society.”

“As president I will do my best to make sure that human rights are respected all over the world and I want Iceland to lead the way in those matters.”

Sturla Jónsson.

Sturla Jónsson has also run before and his stance on the matter is clear.

“No matter which sex or color we are, we should all have the same human rights and we should respect the rights of others. It’s that simple. It’s written in our constitution.”

Sturla however believes in focusing on Icelandic society before reaching out to the world.

“If I am elected president I will first and foremost focus on the people of Iceland.

So many rights are being broken right here and I believe you first have to tidy your own garden before you offer to help the neighbors with their gardening work. That has been my vision since I was born.”

Business woman Halla Tómasdóttir believes in basic human rights for everyone.

“Yes. The queer rights movement is important, not only for the queer individuals themselves but also for the whole of society.

I want to live in a diverse society where everyone can find ways to make their talent blossom and do their society some good. The queer rights movement is extremely relevant in that aspect,” says Halla.

Halla Tómasdóttir.
Halla Tómasdóttir.
“Iceland should take charge and guide other nations regarding equal rights matters. Especially when it comes to queer issues … it is an obligation of any elected official … to raise awareness.”

“I feel that Iceland should take charge and guide other nations regarding equal rights matters. Especially when it comes to queer issues. I feel that it is an obligation of any elected official to raise awareness internationally and speak for the groups of people who are discriminated against.”

 A mini Pride parade after breakfast

There are two writers in the group of candidates. One of them is Andri Snær Magnason who is also an outspoken environmentalist.

Andri Snær Magnason.
Andri Snær Magnason.

“The Reykjavík Pride Parade has the characteristics of a day of national celebration, much like the ones that were once so apparent on June the 17th, Iceland’s national day. At the Pride Parade you don’t see boy scouts carrying flags because they have to, but people who carry their flag with pure pride. You see a group of people who have fought for their cause and won battles. This group knows that freedom and independence is not a given thing or worn out words from the mouth of politicians,” says Andri Snær.

He will indeed let his voice be heard internationally regarding the queer rights movement. “At the pride parade you see a lot of people who have suppressed their feelings, hid them, been punished for them and been victims to prejudice, discrimination and even violence. You see men that have been driven away from their own country. What you should see are people who took their own life for fear of banishment. You see relatives and friends stepping forward and showing solidarity to their loved ones. The fact that the Icelandic people flock to The Reykjavík Pride Parade each year makes it a huge success because the acceptance of society is a vital part of the queer rights movement.”

“I could contribute to the queer rights movement by dressing up in a Pride costume each morning … I could also put little rainbow flags all over the grass surrounding Bessastaðir, the presidential estate.”

Elísabet Jökulsdóttir is another writer in the group. Her approach is somewhat more creative than most. “I thought I could contribute to the queer rights movement by dressing up in a Pride costume each morning and have a mini Pride walk on my own down the street when I’ve finished my breakfast. You see, I am a very fun person and I want to have fun. I could also put the rainbow flag up on the presidential car once in a while and maybe put little rainbow flags all over the grass surrounding Bessastaðir, the presidential estate. My granddaughter is a lesbian and I have millions of friends who are queer so this is a matter dear to my heart.”

Elísabet Jökulsdóttir.
Elísabet Jökulsdóttir.

Elísabet doesn’t take these issues lightly even though she attacks them with a sense of humor. She believes in making an impact when traveling the world. “The persecution of queer people is a very serious matter. It makes me angry and powerless. People are brought up by society to fear what’s different and people are, for example, executed in Iran just for being homosexual. I think if I were to receive an invitation to, let’s say Russia, that I would show up wearing a ski mask in the spirit of Pussy Riot. If you can’t make an impact in protected parties where everyone is filthy rich I don’t know where you can. These world leaders should be able to change things with something as simple as education.”

Nobody is “normal”

Guðrún Margrét Pálsdóttir is no stranger when it comes to human rights issues since she is one of the founders of the charity organization ABC Children’s Aid. She believes that each individual on this planet is valuable, as does Hildur Þórðardóttir, a healer that is a firm believer of teaching by example.

“As president of Iceland I will do my best to make sure that human rights are respected. I’m a visionary and I’ve worked on the human rights cause all over the world for the last three decades. I will continue to be a spokesperson for those who have had their human rights violated in any way and queer people are of course a part of that group,” says Guðrún Margrét Pálsdóttir.

Guðrún Margrét Pálsdóttir.

She stands by her Christian beliefs that we should treat people like we would like to be treated. “When I travel the world as president I will bring focus to the groups in society that are in a difficult position at any given country. I will try to open national leaders’ eyes and widen their understanding of the issues of the groups in question. I went on a year-long trip around the world thirty years ago which opened my eyes to how many people live in poor conditions, who have nothing, are illiterate, are fighting hunger and persecution. Illiterate people and the homeless, especially street children, are close to my heart but I will of course try to help everyone, who has their human rights violated, to the best of my ability. I will draw attention to the values we Icelanders live by as Christians; that each individual is valuable and that we should treat others like we want to be treated. That applies to all citizens of our community,” says Guðrún.

“I especially adore the great divas and cross-dressing and think it is a fantastic way to learn about gender and social conditioning. Why can’t people dress the way they want to?”

Hildur Þórðardóttir will support the queer rights movement in any way she can if she’ll be elected president. “Everyone is equally important and precious and relationships are in my opinion based on love and respect, not which gender the two people are. Being gay can be very empowering if the person is open about it. Going against the norm or the flow makes us stronger and can help us accept ourselves exactly the way we are. Self acceptance is a lesson that we all need to learn, no matter what our sexual preferences are.

Hildur Þórðardóttir.

I think the gay culture enriches our society greatly in so many ways. It expands our horizon and broadens our perspective. I especially adore the great divas and cross-dressing and think it is a fantastic way to learn about gender and social conditioning. Why can’t people dress the way they want to? Why do we need to judge those who dare to be different? Why do we judge at all?
The gay movement  is in many ways a powerful forerunner for other marginalized groups and socially shamed persons. In that way the gay movement is vital for our development as a healthy and shame-free society.

It is very important that it is not forced to hide underground but welcomed into the open. It helps us accept others the way they are and thereby also accepting ourselves the way we are. Nobody is “normal”, even though some people try very hard to be. Everyone is different and equally beautiful and precious. We are all one, brothers and sisters, at the same time as we are all different. Just like flowers in a garden seem like an ocean of color, yet are all different, individually beautiful and perfect in their own way,” says Hildur.

She believes in the power of education and understanding in an international sense. “Yes, I will draw attention to gay rights everywhere I travel abroad as president, just as I will promote peace and compassion for all people wherever I go. Even though the host country is hostile towards gays or very prone to warfare, every word of understanding and peace is like a seed that will someday sprout and grow into a beautiful plant.
I think it is best to teach by example, so by creating a community that openly accepts gay people, we show how to make a caring and broad-minded society. Other societies will follow when they are ready. That reform has to come from within, so by giving attention and support to gay communities in other countries can be very empowering and valuable for them. As long as it doesn’t endanger the people involved.”

A firm believe in the freedom of love

The historian Guðni Th. Jóhannesson has been a front runner in the polls leading up to the election. He belives in equality for all.

Guðni Th.
Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.

“The president should always be concerned with equality. All discrimination and prejudice should be fought against. Also, I am a firm believer in the freedom of love so the short answer would be: Yes,” says Guðni and continues.

“The president is the nation’s advocate abroad, our face in the eyes of the world. Iceland has become known the world around for the positive changes in the rights of LGBTI+ persons. I would proudly reflect that. The freedom of love should exist outside of Iceland as well.”

We finish off with the former prime minister of Iceland and former mayor of Reykjavík, mister Davíð Oddsson. Davíð has long been a fighter for queer rights and that will not change if he gets elected president.

Davíð Oddsson.
Davíð Oddsson.

“I exerted myself in these matters when I was mayor like Þorvaldur Kristinsson, the former director of the national queer organisation Samtökin ’78 can verify. During that time the fight for the queer cause had come a much shorter distance than it has now,” says Davíð, who was mayor of Reykjavík from 1982 to 1991.

“I will without a doubt protect the human rights of queer folk.”

He adds that he will indeed raise the issue when traveling abroad. “I will without a doubt protect the human rights of queer folk.”


    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website:

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        - get inspired

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          - for all your Apple needs

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
          For all your Apple needs. We are here.

          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us

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