Introducing civil partnerships for same-sex couples in Jersey could cost £300,000, the island’s deputy chief minister has claimed.
The States of Jersey will decide in October whether gay couples should be legally recognised. If passed, the law will grant them the same rights as married heterosexual couples. Deputy chief minister Senator Philip Ozouf said, “There is a one off cost of perhaps £200,000 to £300,000 and we have to accept that there is an on-going cost for the States in allowing same-sex couples to have these rights.”
In addition there would be costs incurred in the process of changing current statutory laws that would be influenced by the new law, Senator Ozouf said.
Speaking on BBC Jersey, the senator stated: “I, from a personal point of view, feel very strongly that civil partnerships should be introduced.”
He added: “I think we have to accept that we are a small jurisdiction, there is a cost associated with this, there is a lot of law drafting and it is not a simple law that can just be passed by the States. There are all sorts of other statutes that will be affected by this – income tax law, health laws etc.”
Currently, Jersey’s same-sex couples do not have the same rights as heterosexual married couples and the proposed law change would redress the balance. The Civil Partnerships Act, which was passed in England and Wales four years ago, legally recognises unions between same-sex couples.