Editor of GayIceland Roald Eyvindsson takes a look at the nation‘s general and curious stance against „genital mutilation on infants“.

OPINION This month Iceland made headlines across the world, following a heated debate about a new bill, currently before the Icelandic parliament (Alþingi), that proposes to ban any kind of mutilation on children, including religious circumcision. If passed into law Iceland would become the first European country to do so.

The MP who put the bill forward, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir of The Progressive Party (Framsókn), claims that non-medical circumcision of baby boys violates their human rights as outlined in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. She has compared it to FGM, i.e. female genital mutilation which is already banned in Iceland and has been since 2005.

“Jewish and Muslim leaders have criticized the bill, calling it an attack on religious freedom … But the bill has also gotten its fair share of support, both within the Icelandic parliament and outside of it.”

As could be expected Silja‘s argument has proven to be quite controversial. Jewish and Muslim leaders have criticized the bill, calling it an attack on religious freedom pointing out the fact that Jewish and Muslim boys are often circumcised. And The President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community has condemned it on the same grounds.

But the bill has also gotten its fair share of support, both within the Icelandic parliament and outside of it. Including the involvement of more than 400 Icelandic doctors who signed a declaration of support for it. A declaration saying that they believe that a circumcision done without particular medical reason goes against the moral demands of the Declaration of Geneva.

The general public of Iceland has also had their say in the matter, most notably on social media and message boards of various media outlets where the majority seems to have rallied behind Silja‘s argument, boasting themselves of living in a country that protests such atrocious procedures being performed on innocent children, who don‘t have a say in the matter.

MPs of the Icelandic parliament have somehow managed to put together a bill that proposes to ban male circumcision without medical reason. Something that almost seems to have come out of the blue since there was no special debate on the matter proceeding it in Iceland.

Now, given the nation‘s interest in this matter and as it seems its general stance against “genital mutilation on infants“ one would have thought that the people of Iceland would flock to a symposium that was recently held at the University of Iceland: a symposium where one of the matters discussed were unnecessary surgeries performed on the genitalia of infants in Iceland and their harmful consequences. That the social media would be filled with shock and outrage and solidarity in demanding that these procedures, like male circumcision, should be banned by law.

Oddly enough, however, there has been no uproar. No shock. No outrage. No demands what-so-ever. And a live stream from the symposium itself showed a class room that was almost half empty.

Wait. So where were all the doctors who signed the declaration against male circumcision without particular medical reason? Where were the MP‘s behind the before-mentioned bill? Why did only one MP and one deputy MP show up? Where were all the people who have been raging about the cruelty inflicted on boys who are circumcised? Why where they not present?

“I am an optimist by nature, but the situation is not only beginning to reek of incompetence and apathy, it’s becoming outright scandalous.”

Was it due to bad weather or because it’s harder to get officials to attend events during the weekend, as the organizers of the symposium have politely pointed out as a possible explanation.

Or could other factors be at play? Such as the fact that the symposium was dedicated to the human rights of intersex people, i.e. people who are born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit the typical definition of female or male and „are at a medical level, seen as a problem that needs to be fixed so that parents of intersex infants are pressured into sending their offspring into surgery so they fit a specific male or female anatomy.“ Procedures which, like circumcision, are performed on young children without their consent. Interventions which are usually non-emergency-related and can have life-long harmful effects on the individuals.

Since it was found in 2014 Intersex Iceland has among other things brought attention to human rights abuse of intersex people in Iceland.

Is it maybe because, deep down, the general public agrees to these procedures, despite having voiced concerns about them? After all human kind has a long history of wanting to fix groups of people so they fit into the socially accepted norm. Or is it maybe because it’s harder to cry out that human rights are being violated when they are violated by your own country and have been for decades and you can‘t blame them on smaller communities which customs you find gruesome?

Whatever the reason may be, the truth of the matter is that the general public is well aware of the situation of intersex people in Iceland. In fact we are so aware of it that even the Icelandic government clearly specifies intersex rights in their government coalition agreement, the first government in the world to do so.

But still intersex people enjoy no legal recognition in Iceland. No legal recognition what-so-ever. There is no mention of intersex people in Icelandic law. Not even a bill on the issues of intersex people exists, despite the fact that there has been a public discussion about the human rights abuse of intersex people in Iceland since at least 2014 when Intersex Iceland was founded. Despite the fact that previous ministers of equality have talked about improving the situation of intersex people. Despite the fact that most political parties talked in the same manner in the parliamentary elections in 2016. Among them the parties that are now in government

And yet, MPs of the Icelandic parliament have still somehow managed to put together a bill that proposes to ban male circumcision without medical reason. Something that almost seems to have come out of the blue since there was no special debate on the matter preceding it in Iceland.

“Why is it starting to look like our MP’s generally don‘t take a serious interest in the human rights of intersex people at all?”

So, why hasn’t the Icelandic parliament taken action in the matters of intersex people when genital procedures done on intersex children clearly violate their human rights? Why is it starting to look like our MP’s generally don‘t take a serious interest in the human rights of intersex people at all? Are we to believe that protecting the rights of intersex people is merely something that political parties like to put in their policies and use as queer bait before elections?

I am an optimist by nature, but the situation is not only beginning to reek of incompetence and apathy, it’s becoming outright scandalous. And if we don‘t do something about it soon, it’s going to leave a stain on our nation‘s history – one that we are never going to be able to wash away.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.


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.


    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      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 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier 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 a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

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

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

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      - 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. “

      - 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.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        - 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.

        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.


        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.


        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us

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