Isle of Man gay couples have right to civil partnership

Wedding cake for a civil partnership Homosexuality was illegal in the Isle of Man until 1992

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Same-sex couples on the Isle of Man now have the right to a civil partnership.

Gay couples will be allowed the same rights as married couples for inheritance, pensions and tax allowances.

The Civil Partnership Bill 2011 comes into force on Wednesday, meaning couples can register for a ceremony to take place as early as next week.

Gay rights campaigners have welcomed the bill claiming they have been discriminated against for years.

Homosexuality was illegal under Isle of Man law until 1992.

The bill sparked fierce debate among some groups on the island before it was eventually passed last month.

Assistant Chief Registrar Ian Gilmore said: "With effect from 6 April, prospective civil partners will be able to start the procedures that will ultimately lead to them signing a civil partnership schedule, and from that point onwards law will recognise their partnership."

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