Pride politician calls for same-sex partnership scheme

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A leading parliamentarian in the Faroe Islands has called for the creation of registered partnerships on the islands.

Finnur Helmsdal was speaking at Pride celebrations in the capital, Tórshavn, which was decorated with rainbow colours.

Organisers of Pride said they were very pleased with the success of the events which took place over the weekend.

130 people marched through Tórshavn and another 200 turned out to hear speeches in the main square.

It was the second Pride festival on the islands and was organised by ANSO, Association of Nordic LGBT Student Organisations, together with Friðarbogin, the Faroese LGBT organisation.

Friðarbogin was founded in 2003. One of the aims of the organisation is to raise awareness around LGBT issues and to get proper legal protection for LGBT people in the Faroe Islands.

“We are very happy with the turnout for the parade, keeping in mind that only around 19,000 people live in Tórshavn and 48,000 in the whole Faroe Islands. I hope that next year even more will join us,” said Tina Jakobsen, a board member of Friðarbogin.

Finnur Helmsdal, parliamentarian in the Faroese Løgting, or parliament, said in his speech that registered partnership should be legalised today in the Faroes.

He also thanked ANSO for making the first pride in 2005 possible, since that event started a discussion in Faroese society, which for example led to the addition of sexual orientation into the anti-discrimination paragraph in the penal code last December.

“In a small community like this, the LGBT movement needs allies,” said Ásta Ósk Hlöðversdóttir, president of ANSO.

“I hope that we have been able to show that LGBT issues have to do with all of us.

“I also hope that by bringing representatives together from various Nordic student organisations, we have created an alliance that hopefully will play an important role when it comes to supporting human rights during upcoming years in the Faroe Islands.”

The islands, a self-governing province of Denmark, are situated halfway between Iceland and Norway.