The Chief Minister of the Isle of Man has signalled his support for same-sex marriage.
As a Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man – which has a population of just 85,000 people – has the right to set its own laws, and is yet to legislate on same-sex marriage.
The island is one of the few remaining areas in the region without equality – alongside Northern Ireland, where the DUP govermnent continues to block progress, and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey.
However, Chief Minister Allan Bell has signalled his tentative support for a bill on the issue, and is hoping to get legislaion passed soon.
He told Manx radio station 3fm last month that he did support a potential move on the issue – but it could be some time before same-sex marriage is law.
He said: “A lot will depend on the amount of legislative time there is left.
“We are very close now to the very end of the programme… we have some major bills already in the pipeline.
“I don’t know if we’ll be able to get it in or not, it’s not something I’ve discussed with the Council ministers yet, but I hope at the very least we’ll have set the foundations to move in this direction before the end of this term.”