This tiny island of 2,000 people has just voted to legalise same-sex marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The tiny Channel Island of Alderney has just voted to legalise same-sex marriage.

The change in the law was voted through at a States meeting last night, with nine members voting in favour and one abstaining, ITV News reports.

There are approximately 2,000 people who live on the island, which is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency.

Alderney Corbletts Beach
Alderney Corbletts Beach

“There are people who wish to take immediate advantage of this law when it comes into force and I wish them the best for the future,” chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee James Dent.

“They will make a piece of history.”

The law will be enacted after it is approved by the Queen and her Privy Council, which is a constitutional formality.

The only member at the ten-strong States meeting who didn’t back the proposal was its Vice President Ian Tugby.

He claimed he had originally planned to vote yes, but changed his mind after residents apparently contacted him about concerns they had for children and “confused messages”.

One gay couple, Dits Preece and Alan Jones, saw the decision being made from the public gallery.

Alderney Fort Clonque
Alderney Fort Clonque

Despite being together for 15 years, they have been putting off getting married until they can get married at home in Alderney.

The first same-sex marriages in the UK took place in 2014, but the laws for England, Scotland and Wales do not apply to the Channel Islands.

Guernsey first looked to passing same-sex marriage in 2014, when its Chief Minister met with LGBT groups to discuss the issue.

LGBT groups on the island continued to push for a change in the law and the following year proposals were set out to allow same-sex marriage.

The island approved the commitment to same-sex marriage with a 37-7 vote in December 2015. The law was finally changed a year later.

Despite proposals for a change in the law in Jersey being given the go-ahead in 2015, it has been delayed since then.

Senator Ian Gorst has claimed that that the “complexity” of the new laws is what has caused that delay.