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The Faroe Islands Theocon Who Refused to Dine With Iceland’s PM Johanna Sigurdardottir

And what would the response be if a Tea Party leader refused Barack Obama‘s dinner invitation because he’s black? Oh, those immutable characteristics getting in the way of entrees, like they are for Iceland’s Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.

The world’s only openly gay head of state, Sigurðardóttir (or Johanna Sigurdardottir for those without fancy keyboards) is on an official visit to the Faroe Islands, the Danish province that sits roughly halfway between Iceland and Scotland. She brought her new wife Jónína Leónsdóttir, and Faroe Islands’ Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen thought it’d be nice to get all the party leaders together for a delicious dinner. Everybody RSVPd, except
Jenis av Rana, leader of Miðflokkurin (which “can well be called a theocon party,” relays Arni Zachariassen), because he can’t very well sit down with a woman who violates the Bible’s teachings.

Jenis av Rana says he “wouldn’t dream of attending such a banquet,” given Sigurdardottir’s sexuality.

Funny, because as Zachariassen notes, “[I]n the famous Biblical story about Sodom and Gomorra, which is so often used against gay people, it was not homosexuality that awakened God’s judgement, but, according to Ezekiel 16:49-50, lack of hospitality. All throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus extended his hospitality and ate with those who were deemed unworthy, often because of their perceived sexual sins, by the religious leaders of the time. That the irony of this situation is lost on Jenis av Rana is baffling.”

Fine. More roast pork and caramelized potatoes for everybody else.

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  • Sioraiocht

    The Faeroes are an extremely closed-knit society that is still known for being extremely religious. They are more than a bit behind their Nordic neighbours in terms of progressivism. I hope that as transport and Internet continue to penetrate the Faeroes that Faeroe Islanders embrace the tolerance that the other Nordic countries are known for.

    Elton John did perform there this last summer…so that’s something.

  • robert

    .. and yet again, Queerty has to be corrected as Sigurðardóttir is *not* the head of state – she’s the head of government. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is the President of Iceland and the head of state.

  • Russell

    It will take ages until we see an American openly gay or lesbian president. Europe is quite ahead in this sense. Iceland prime minister is openly lesbian and german vicechancellor Guido Westerwelle is openly gay.

  • Ogre Magi

    If any non-Scandinavians want to understand that culture better I would heartily recommend humon webcomics

  • Cdub

    The Faroes are a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark, not a province, anf ð is th, not d, hence Sigarthardottir

  • Sioraiocht

    @Cdub: Sorry, that’s just plain wrong.

    In terms of “sound”, you are right that the sound ð is represented as “th” in English.

    However, there are two “th” sounds in English (“this” versus “thin”), the former being ð in Icelandic and the latter being þ.

    The standard way to convert Icelandic words to ASCII is to convert þ to th and ð to d. That is well established practice, although an alternative practice that has arisen has been to use th for þ and dh for ð, but never th for ð.

  • Cdub

    @Sioraiocht Sorry, my misunderstanding. Thanks for the correction.

  • kevwyn

    oh for fuck sakes–translate that

  • busky

    @Sioraiocht: @Sioraiocht: I’am from the faroe islands and can just say that, that’s one man who is sick in the head, and the Faroe Islands are not far behind the other Nordic countries:)

    p.s when Elton John was in the faroe islands there was also an religious leader from one of the religious groups in the country who said on the radio that one should stay away from his concert, but they are the minority,men whit high positions in politics and the church and other religious groups, not the ordinary people in the Faroe Islands;)

  • Sioraiocht

    @busky: Busky, I can only speak from secondhand knowledge, but a friend of mind just returned from the Faeroes (he lives in Iceland) and found that, on the whole, Faeroe Islanders were relatively conservative when compared with Icelanders. This doesn’t mean everyone is gay hating, of course, and conservatism is not always about hate, reactionary paranoia, etc.

    I am sure that, as with every country, you get a spectrum of views in the Faeroes.

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