Same-sex marriage in Guernsey

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Legal status of same-sex unions
Marriage
Performed
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  1. Not performed in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. Neither performed nor recognized in Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands
  3. Neither performed nor recognized in Northern Ireland, the dependency of Sark and six of the fourteen overseas territories
  4. Neither performed nor recognized in American Samoa and many tribal jurisdictions with the exception of federal recognition benefits
  5. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage
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  7. When performed in an EU member state with an EU citizen
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The legal status of same-sex unions differs within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom. Same-sex marriage became legal in the jurisdiction of Guernsey on 2 May 2017, and in Alderney on 14 June 2018. Sark does not recognise same-sex unions.

Recognition of abroad civil partnership and same-sex marriage[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe
  Marriage1
  Foreign marriages recognized1
  Other type of partnership1
  Unregistered cohabitation1
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples

1May include recent laws or court decisions which have created legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but which have not entered into effect yet.

In Guernsey, civil partnerships performed in the United Kingdom and other relationships treated as such by UK law have been recognised for succession purposes in inheritance and other matters respecting interests in property since 2 April 2012, after approval of a bill allowing such recognition by the States of Guernsey on 29 June 2011. It received royal assent in the Privy Council on 16 November and was registered on the records of the island on 5 December 2011.[1][2]

On 10 December 2015, the States approved an ordinance to recognise same-sex marriages and civil partnerships performed abroad for the purposes of the Income Tax (Guernsey) Law, 1975. It took effect on 1 January 2017.[3][4][5][6][7] On the same day, the States directed the preparation of the legislation to amend the Inheritance (Guernsey) Law, 2011 to recognise abroad same-sex marriages for its purposes.[5][8] The bill to this effect was submitted on 22 January 2016, and approved by the States on 2 March.[9][10][11] It received royal assent in the Privy Council on 4 May and took effect upon registration on the records of the island on 16 May 2016.[12]

On 17 June 2015, the States of Alderney unanimously approved the Inheritance (Alderney) Law, 2015, which include provisions to recognise same-sex marriages and civil partnerships performed abroad for its purposes.[13][14] It received royal assent in the Privy Council on 8 October, was registered on the records of the island on 9 November 2015, and took effect on 1 January 2016.[15][16][17]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

Guernsey[edit]

In January 2014, it was announced that within the next twelve months deputies would debate whether to accept a state-recognised civil union proposal.[18] The proposed law, titled Union Civile, was said to be "the most forward-looking marriage law" in the world. The measure would end state-sanctioned marriages of any couple and instead replace it with Union Civile.[19] A consultation on the proposed Union Civile law began on 1 June 2015 and lasted until 13 July 2015.[20][21][22][23] The proposed law would not apply to the entire bailiwick, but just to the islands of Guernsey, Herm, Jethou and Lihou.[24] On 14 July 2015, the results of the consultation indicated that over 1,600 responses had been filed with the majority supporting the introduction of a same-sex marriage law rather than a partnership law.[25]

On 30 October 2015, the Policy Council of Guernsey dropped the Union Civile plans and released a report asking the States to agree on introducing a same-sex marriage law and to direct the preparation of legislation to implement it at its meeting on 9 December 2015.[26][27] The States approved the proposal on 10 December 2015, in a 37–7 vote. Amendments to introduce civil partnerships or Union Civile rather than same-sex marriage were rejected.[28][29][30][31]

10 December 2015 vote in the States of Guernsey[31]
Voted for Voted against Absent (Did Not Vote)
a. Both deputies are appointed by the States of Alderney.

In February 2016, a working group, which consisted of Chief Minister Jonathan Le Tocq and Deputies Elis Bebb and Chris Green, was established in order to prepare a draft bill.[32][33] A same-sex marriage bill was approved by the States, in a 33-5 vote, on 21 September.[34][35][36][37]

21 September 2016 vote in the States of Guernsey[38]
Voted for Voted against Absent (Did Not Vote)
a. Both deputies are appointed by the States of Alderney.

The Same-Sex Marriage (Guernsey) Law, 2016 received royal assent in the Privy Council on 14 December 2016.[39] It was registered in the records of the island on 16 January 2017.[40] On 21 February 2017, the Government announced that the law would take effect on 2 May, if the ordinances to commence it and make the necessary changes to other laws are approved by the States at its meeting on 26 April.[41][42][43][44][45] On 26 April, the States approved both ordinances, and the law took effect on 2 May 2017.[46][47][48][49][50] It applies to the jurisdiction of Guernsey, but not to Alderney and Sark.[40]

Alderney[edit]

Alderney, one of the three constituent Channel Islands which form the Bailiwick of Guernsey, has full autonomy in most legal matters (except foreign affairs and other powers that have been transferred to the States of Guernsey), through the States of Alderney. Same-sex marriage is legal in Alderney.

On 21 February 2017, the States of Alderney's Policy and Finance Committee (PFC) approved the Chief Executive's proposal to draft a bill to legislate to allow same-sex marriage on Alderney.[51]

LGBT rights advocacy group Liberate estimated the entire process of legalisation could take 12 months.[52] On 16 May, the PFC agreed to bring forward the proposed Same Sex Marriage (Alderney) Law, 2017 to a meeting of the full States, on a date to be determined later.[53] On 18 July 2017, the PFC noted the draft law was at an advanced stage, but that consequential amendments to other legislation was required before the bill could be presented to the States of Alderney.[54] On 12 September 2017, the PFC unanimously approved the bill.[55][56][57] The bill was approved by the States of Alderney on 18 October 2017, with the support of nine of the ten members of the legislature.[58][59][60] The bill received royal assent in the Privy Council on 13 December 2017 and was registered in the records of the island on 15 January 2018.[61][62][63] On 13 June the States approved the ordinances to commence the law and make necessary changes to other laws, all of which came into effect on 14 June 2018.[64][65][66][67] The first same-sex marriage was performed on 16 June 2018 in Platte Saline.[68][69]

Sark[edit]

Sark is a constituent Channel Island which forms part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. It has legislative autonomy and legislation passed by the States of Guernsey do not apply to Sark without approval of the legislature of Sark, known as the Chief Pleas, as a result same-sex marriages are not performed on Sark.[70]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]