REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — A 15-year-old Icelandic girl has been granted the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother, despite the opposition of authorities and Iceland's strict law on names.
Reykjavik District Court ruled Thursday that the name "Blaer" can be used. It means "light breeze."
The decision overturns an earlier rejection by Icelandic authorities who declared it was not a proper feminine name. Until now, Blaer Bjarkardottir had been identified simply as "Girl" in communications with officials.
"I'm very happy," she said after the ruling. "I'm glad this is over. Now I expect I'll have to get new identity papers. Finally I'll have the name Blaer in my passport."
Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. Names are supposed to fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules — choices like Carolina and Christa are not allowed because the letter "c'' is not part of Iceland's alphabet.
Blaer's mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, had fought for the right for the name to be recognized. The court ruling means that other girls will be also allowed to use the name in Iceland.
In an interview earlier this year, Eidsdottir said she did not know the name "Blaer" was not on the list of accepted female names when she gave it to her daughter. The name was rejected because the panel viewed it as a masculine name that was inappropriate for a girl.
The court found that based on testimony and other evidence, that the name could be used by both males and females and that Blaer had a right to her own name under Iceland's constitution and Europe's human rights conventions. It rejected the government's argument that her request should be denied to protect the Icelandic language.
Blaer had told the court she was very happy with her name and only had problems with it when she was dealing with state authorities who rejected it.
The court did not grant her any damages. The government has not indicated whether it will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Camden County Sheriff Tony Perry said that during the last two weeks, incidents of breaking and entering and home or vehicle larceny have increased in two areas of the county.
A Facebook post helped Elizabeth City Police identify and locate the suspect of a hit-and-run incident involving a 3-year-old this week.
As Newport News Fire Chief Scott Liebold plans to retire at the end of this month, the city is looking for his replacement -- and they want your help.
The honeymoon is over in Norfolk. If you get caught running a red light at two intersections with new cameras, you'll get a ticket in the mail.
Virginia Beach police are investigating items found in an Oceanfront hotel room consistent with manufacturing narcotics Friday.
The biggest holiday party in Hampton Roads on Friday night -- Hollydazzle is back at City Center.
Governor Bob McDonnell has set the date for a special election for Virginia's 6th District senate seat.