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The National Queer Organisation of Iceland

Samtökin ‘78 – the National Queer Association of Iceland – for all queer persons regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics or gender expression.

What is Samtökin ’78 – the National Queer Association of Iceland?

Samtökin ‘78 is a queer interest and activism association that has existed in Iceland since 1978, giving us our name. Our purpose is to ensure that lesbians, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, trans people and other queer people are visible, acknowledged and enjoy full rights in Icelandic society, regardless of their country of origin.

Our office is open Monday to Friday from 13:00 to 16:00, at Suðurgata 3, 101 Reykjavík. The public bus (strætó) stops nearby at the City Hall, so it is easy to visit us using public transportation.

What do we do?

Our work centres around the fight for equal rights for queer people in Iceland. To achieve this goal, we work to educate and engage politicians, public opinion and serve members of the queer community.

Our office serves as a cultural house and a service center, where we regularly hold events, meetings, lectures and art exhibitions. It also serves as a space for support groups and for counselling. Samtökin ‘78 is a place where queer people come for support, to meet other queer people and to have a good time.

Our board, staff members and queer activists work to improve queer rights in Iceland through political action, by advising and working closely with politicians and the Icelandic government.

The Pride Celebration in August is a time when queer people come together and celebrate who they are. Reykjavík Pride is a big celebration each year, with one third of the nation showing up to render their support. Samtökin ‘78 participates in the Pride Parade each year and everyone is welcome to march with us.

What type of services do we offer?

In general

Samtökin ‘78 offers presentations, workshops and training programs for school groups, professionals, work places and other organizations. The goal is to educate the public on queer people and queer issues in Iceland.

Do you have a question? Contact!

Presentations on queer issues

Samtökin ‘78 offers presentations, workshops and training programs for school groups, professionals, work places and other organizations. The goal is to educate the public on queer people and queer issues in Iceland.

Contact about education

Counselling

Samtökin ’78 offers free social counselling to queer people, their families and professionals. Our counsellors have extensive experience working with queer people. The counselling is free of charge and fully confidential. No issue is too big or too small to discuss with them.

Book an appointment

Legal aid and assistance

Samtökin ‘78 offers fee legal assistance on the rights of queer people. Our lawyer specializes in the rights of queer people and can assess whether you need to file a court case or provide other advice.

Contact us regarding legal aid

Refugees and applicants of International Protection (asylum seekers)

Samtökin ‘78 serves queer refugees and applicants for International Protection to the best of our ability. Refugees and asylum-seekers are welcome at our events. The Icelandic Red Cross also offers legal advice and general consultation for refugees and asylum-seekers.

Book an appointment

What are the legal rights of queer people in Iceland?

Public attitudes towards queer individuals have improved considerably over recent years, and queer people have attained many legal milestones as a result. If, however, you suspect your rights have been violated, we are happy to provide guidance. Here are the key rights of queer people in Iceland:

  • It is safe to go to the Icelandic police if you ever face discrimination or violence based on your sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics or gender expression, and we encourage you to do so.  You are welcome to look to us for guidance as well, in such a case.
  • It is illegal to discriminate in the labour market based on sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics or gender expression.
  • It is illegal to deny services based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Two people can legally marry and bring up children in Iceland, regardless of their sex.
  • Same-sex partners can legally adopt children. Currently, these adoptions can be from within Iceland and from Columbia.
  • Artificial insemination is also legal, regardless of the sex or gender of a single person or couple.
  • Trans people may pursue a gender reassignment process if they so desire.
  • Trans people can change their name and gender marker without going through the gender reassignment process. This is done by contacting the National Register – Þjóðskrá Íslands.
  • Currently, Icelandic law does not currently provide International Protection (asylum) based specifically on being queer, but it is known that sexual orientation and gender identity are taken into consideration when granting International Protection in Iceland.

How do I take part?

Many options

You can team up with Samtökin ‘78 in a variety of ways – volunteers and sponsors are the foundation of all our work. We are grateful for all contributions and welcome new volunteers. Contact the office to learn more about opportunities and to take an active part in our work.

Volunteers

We offer a wide range of projects and activities that volunteers partake in, such as open houses, the buddy program and data collecting. We assess each volunteer’s skills and interest when matching them with a program.

Supporters and members

It’s possible to support our activities by becoming a member, by making a one-time donation or by contributing with monthly payments. Membership to Samtökin ’78 includes various discounts and guarantees you a voting right in all major decisions of the organization. Our supporters and members are an important part of our funding.

Events

We welcome and encourage new people to join us. Check out our Facebook page for upcoming events. We also encourage volunteers to organize events on behalf of Samtökin ‘78. Contact us if you have an idea you would like to see happen.

Partner organizations

Samtökin ’78 has multiple partner organizations. These focus on and support more specific groups and issues within the queer community. They include:

  • HIN – Hinsegin Norðurland (Queer Northland)
  • Q – félag hinsegin stúdenta (Q – queer student association)
  • BDSM á Íslandi (BDSM in Iceland)
  • Hinsegin kórinn (The Queer Choir)
  • Íþróttafélagið Styrmir (Styrmir Sports Association)
  • Intersex Ísland (Intersex Iceland)
  • Trans Ísland (Trans Iceland)
  • Hinsegin dagar (Reykjavík Pride)

Samtökin ’78 has multiple partner organizations. These focus on and support more specific groups and issues within the queer community. They include:

Queer social life and culture

Kíkí – Queer Bar and Gaukurinn are queer-friendly venues that we recommend in Reykjavík. Pink Iceland is a queer travel agency run by Icelandic queer individuals for those who are interested in traveling around the country. A collection of queer literature can be found at the City Library (Borgarbókasafnið). The books in the collection were donated by the Samtökin ‘78 for preservation.

Contact us

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samtokin78/
Phone: +354 552 7878
Address: Suðurgata 3, 101 Reykjavík
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 13.00 to 16.00
E-mail: skrifstofa@samtokin78.is
Instagram: @samtokin78
Twitter: @samtokin78