Same-sex weddings to start on Star Wars Day
Same-sex marriages will be able to happen in Guernsey from May 4, also known as Star Wars Day.
The last legislative hurdle was cleared this morning, when the island’s parliament voted through its last part.
The law will come into effect on May 2, and couples will be able to hold weddings from May 4 onwards.
This included many amendments which altered the language of Guernsey’s existing laws to make them inclusive of same-sex marriages.
A spokesperson for LGBT charity Liberate said: “We’re delighted that today the States of Guernsey will finally be recognising the rights of its gay, bisexual and pansexual citizens.”
Lauren McSwiggan, a spokesperson for the charity, told the BBC: “This has been a long time coming, but from today Guernsey will be a more equal society – and we can’t wait to see the first same-sex wedding.”
Up until then, Guernsey was one of the few places in Western Europe – and the only place in Great Britain or the UK – which did not allow either civil partnerships or same-sex marriages.
Ellie Jones, Vice-Chair of Liberate, said at the time: “We, as a charity, have been working tirelessly since our inception to bring about equality in the island; and the LGBTQ community on the island have been working towards this result for many years.
Historic day: equal marriage legislation just completed final stage such that same-sex marriages will be legal in Guernsey from 2 May 2017.
— Gavin St Pier (@gavinstpier) April 26, 2017
“We are ecstatic that Guernsey is now a more equal place to live and that the States have demonstrated their support for LGBTQ islanders, some of whom have waited a very long time to be able to get married.”
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“Given that 80-90% of the population responded in favour of marriage equality in the 2015 States consultation, we are proud that the result of the vote corresponded with the majority of islanders’ clearly expressed wishes.”
— Liberate HQ (@LiberateHQ) April 26, 2017
“We would like to thank all of those in the States and the wider community who have worked so hard to bring this about, and we wish luck to all whose who will be hearing wedding bells in 2017!”
Guernsey, which legalised homosexuality in 1983, held its first pride parade last year.