Intro: By way of internet and a four cylinder engine, we came face to face with a dozen lesbigay folks in Finland, Sweden and Norway, some married to their lovers, some cohabiting, others happy not to be coupled up. In warm evening cafes, aromatic restaurants and squeaky-clean living rooms we heard and saw what it was like to be homosexually inclined in modern Scandinavia.
Homosexuality was legalized in 1973. The age of consent became equal at the same time: 16 regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation. In 1981, Norway became the first country in the world to enact a law to prevent discrimination against homosexuals. Homosexuals can serve openly in the Armed Forces. Gender Neutral Marriage and Civil unions are allowed in Norwayon Jan. 1st, 2009. From this date, no new ‘registered partnerships’ may be created, but already existing ones will be allowed to keep their status, or they may be “upgraded” to full martial status. Same-sex couples will have exactly the same rights that are offered to heterosexual couples. Married couples are permitted to adopt under Norwegian law. Stepchild adoption is allowed for couples. For lesbians artificial insemination is perfectly legal and is paid for by the state. There is a fairly-sized gay scene in Oslo. Most of Norway is gay-friendly, an example can be found in Norway’s socially liberal Nordland County, where churches are seen to fly rainbow flags.
Norway was the first European nation to declare independence in the 20th century. Since World War II the country has experienced rapid economic growth, and is now among the wealthiest countries in the world. Norway is the world’s third largest oil exporter. It was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to