LGBT rights in Guernsey

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LGBT rights in Guernsey
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1983, age of consent equal since 2012
Military service UK military since 2000
Discrimination protections Yes, since 2004
Family rights
Adoption No

Lesbian, gay, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Guernsey may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity for both men and women is legal in Guernsey, but households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Prior to 1983, same-sex sexual activity was illegal; after decriminalisation, the age of consent was set at 21 (in line with the UK at that time).[1] In 2000, the age of consent for male same-sex sexual acts was lowered to 18.[2] In 2010, the States of Guernsey backed, in principle, the proposal to equalise the age of consent at 16.[3][4] The legislation to this effect was approved in 2011 and took effect on 5 November 2012.[5][6][7] However, Guernsey retains male homosexual specific offences in its criminal law.[7]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Guernsey has recognised civil partnerships performed in the United Kingdom and other relationships treated as such by the UK law for succession purposes in inheritance and other matters respecting interests in property since 2 April 2012.[8][9][10] A proposal to abolish state-sanctioned marriages in favour of a Union Civile (for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples) was rejected by the States in favour of a same-sex marriage law in December 2015.[11]

In February 2016, a working group, which consists of Chief Minister Jonathan Le Tocq and Deputies Elis Bebb and Chris Green, was established in order to prepare a draft bill.[12][13] A bill was approved by the States, in a 33-5 vote, on 21 September and awaits Royal Assent in the Privy Council. The first marriages are expected to happen sometime in 2017.[14][15][16][17]

Discrimination protections[edit]

Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender reassignment is banned since 2004.[18]

Adoption and parenting[edit]

Lesbian couples can have access to IVF and artificial insemination.

In May 2015, Guernsey's Chief Minister announced that a review of the 1960 Adoption Law which bars unmarried couples from jointly adopting was scheduled for 24 June 2015.[19] The Chief Minister hopes to extend full adoption rights to couples in overseas civil partnerships and those who have lived together for some time.[20][21] On 24 June 2015, the States of Guernsey agreed by a vote of 38 to 2 to bring about changes to its adoption law and recognise civil partnerships and other foreign unions.[22][23][24]

Local LGBT charities and organisations[edit]

Liberate is the only organisation in the Channel Islands that represents the local LGBT community. It was established in February 2014 with the aim to "include, inform and support the local LGBTQ community", as well as to reform discriminatory laws in the Bailiwick.[25]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1984)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2012)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes (Since 2004)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (Since 2004)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriage Yes (From 2017)[26]
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes (From 2017)
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2016)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2016)[27]
LGBT persons allowed to serve openly in the military Yes (UK responsible for defence)
Right to change legal gender Yes (Since 2007)
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes (Since 2009)
MSMs allowed to donate blood No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned for heterosexual couples as well)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Sexual Offences (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1983
  2. ^ The Sexual Offences (Amendment) (Guernsey) Law, 2000
  4. ^ "Guernsey gay age of consent lowered to 16". BBC News. 25 March 2010. 
  5. ^ BILLET D’ÉTAT No. I, 2011
  6. ^ The Sexual Offences (Bailiwick of Guernsey) (Amendment) Law, 2011
  7. ^ a b Homosexual Offenses and Human Rights in Guernsey
  8. ^ The Inheritance (Guernsey) Law, 2011
  9. ^ The Inheritance (Guernsey) Law, 2011 (Commencement) Ordinance, 2012
  10. ^ Private client law in Guernsey: overview
  11. ^ "Same-sex marriage gets Guernsey States approval". BBC News. 10 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage Working Group progresses new legislation". States of Guernsey. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  13. ^ "News Archive - 2016". States of Guernsey. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  14. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage (Guernsey) Law, 2016 (P.2016/30)". States of Guernsey. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  15. ^ "Big, gay wedding bells in Guernsey next year". ITV Channel TV. 21 September 2016. Archived from the original on 25 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  16. ^ Strudwick, Patrick (21 September 2016). "This Tiny Island Has Just Voted To Introduce Same-Sex Marriage". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  17. ^ Duffy, Nick (21 September 2016). "Guernsey passes same-sex marriage law". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  18. ^ The Prevention of Discrimination (Enabling Provisions (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2004
  19. ^ 2015 June 24 Billet XI
  20. ^ Adoption law changes proposed to make all couples equal
  21. ^ Billet D'Etat 24 June 2015: Pages 25-32
  22. ^ Guernsey follows Jersey in new adoption rules
  23. ^ Guernsey law change allows same-sex couples to adopt
  24. ^ States' Meeting of 24 June 2015
  25. ^ Channel Island LGBT Charity, Liberate
  26. ^ 'Big, gay wedding bells in Guernsey next year'
  27. ^ Who can adopt