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Gay marriage debate in July after major poll in favour

Gay marriage debate in July after major poll in favour

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Gay marriage debate in July after major poll in favour

A change in the law to allow gay couples to get married in Jersey has been proposed for debate ahead of the election.

Deputy Sam Mézec’s proposition follows an online poll run by the JEP which showed that 81% of 1,011 Islanders who voted favoured letting gay couples get married.

Although same-sex couples have been able to marry in the UK since March this year after the UK Coalition government changed the law on marriage, Jersey’s legislation only runs as far as allowing civil partnerships. If married gay couples from elsewhere in the world come to Jersey, their marriages are recognised as civil partnerships under local laws – but at the moment, the law needs to be updated to apply the same rule to same-sex marriages that have taken place in the UK.

In a proposition lodged with the States this morning Deputy Mézec wrote: “I have lodged this proposition because I believe that the Chief Minister’s proposals to recognise UK same sex marriages as civil partnerships in Jersey do not go far enough.

“I believe that to welcome married same sex couples to Jersey by downgrading their relationship to a civil partnership does not accord their relationships the dignity and respect that they deserve from a community that is now far more accepting of same sex relationships than it was years ago. The time to introduce same sex marriage is now.”

His proposition – listed for debate on 1 July – would follow the UK legislation in requiring provision for “civil marriages” in Jersey, so that religious institutions would not be forced to conduct gay marriages if they have an objection.

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