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] Implementation of such a law is likely to begin in early 2017.

Discrimination protections[edit]

Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender reassignment is banned since 2004.[12]

Adoption and parenting[edit]

Although same-sex couples can't legally adopt, 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.[13] The Chief Minister hopes to extend full adoption rights to couples in overseas civil partnerships and those who have lived together for some time.[14][15] On 24 June 2015, the States of Guernsey agreed to bring about changes to its adoption law and recognise civil partnerships and other foreign unions.[16][17]

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.[18]

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 No (Proposed)
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes / No (Inheritance and other matters respecting interests in property)
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No (Pending)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No (Pending)
Gays and lesbians 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]