Same-sex marriage gets the go-ahead in Jersey

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Proposals for same-sex marriage have been given the go-ahead in Jersey.

As crown dependencies, the Balliwicks of Jersey and Guernsey (the Channel Islands) – which have a population of just 165,000 – retain autonomy from the United Kingdom, and unlike England, Scotland and Wales, both continue to ban same-sex marriage.
However, as part of a concerted push on the island to bring its legislation up to date, Jersey and Guernsey’s Chief Ministers have filed proposals to bring the island’s laws up to date.

Today, the Jersey States overwhelmingly accepted proposals that will bring Jersey into line with England, Wales and Scotland, by permitting same-sex couples to wed.

Same-sex marriage was backed overwhelmingly, with 37 votes for and just four against, and one abstention.

The proposals now move ahead to the next state, with legislation required to be presented prior to January 2017.

The move paves the way for the first same-sex weddings to potentially start by late 2017.

LGBT group Liberate wrote: “We are delighted to announce that the States Assembly in Jersey have voted 37-4 (with one abstention) in favour of introducing same sex marriage! Congratulations all in Jersey!”

Changes were also made to divorce laws and laws governing parental responsibility.

The move means that Jersey is now ahead of Northern Ireland – where proposals for equal marriage were resoundingly blocked by the DUP in the devolved Stormont Assembly.

However, amid a political crisis in Northern Ireland, there have been some calls for same-sex marriage to be implemented through other routes.