Gay rights groups welcome Jersey consultation into same-sex marriage
Gay and trans rights groups on the Channel Islands have welcomed a consultation into same-sex marriage for Jersey.
Channel Island LGBTQ rights charity Liberate and affiliate group Trans* Jersey welcome the States of Jersey’s consultation on equal marriage and partnership, which launched last week on 20 August.
Same-sex marriage had been due to finally be voted on in the Jersey Assembly last month, with proposals initially expected to receive an “open door”.
However, after bitter opposition from the Jersey Evangelical Alliance, an amendment tabled by Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand passed by 24 votes to 18; creating a ‘public consultation’ that will further stall the bill while exploring the supposed ‘unintended consequences’ of equal marriage.
Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst launched the consultation last week.
Jersey Co-ordinator for Liberate Vic Tanner Davy said: “The options being offered to the public are ones that Liberate and Trans* Jersey supports and we have already responded positively to the suggestion that Jersey introduce same-sex civil marriage and same-sex religious marriage. Although truly equal marriage would be represented by the Union Civile, we have moved away from that position because of the disturbance that its introduction would cause to the long-standing relationship of the Church of England to the Crown and the State, something that would necessitate a much bigger and longer constitutional debate.
“We are also supportive of the proposal to open up civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples. In the interests of equality, this is the only fair thing to do. It is something that the UK has not done and for Jersey to be considering this option shows how committed the Chief Minister and his department are to ensuring we get this right as an island.”
Currently only civil partnerships are recognised in Jersey.
The consultation will end on 22 October this year.
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