Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man Same Sex Marriage Bill amendments rejected

Manx Chief Minister Allan Bell
Image caption Chief Minister Allqn Bell has described John Houghton's amendments to the bill as "completely unacceptable"

Plans to give registrars the right to opt out of performing same-sex marriage ceremonies have been overwhelmingly rejected by Manx politicians.

Members of the House of Keys (MHKs) were almost unanimous in opposing John Houghton's proposed amendments to the island's Same Sex Marriage Bill.

The North Douglas member also wanted parents to have the right to take their children out of classes which teach about gay marriage.

But only one other MHK supported him.

Ramsey MHK Zac Hall supported Mr Houghton's amendments in Tuesday's parliamentary session.

Image caption Homosexuality was only decriminalised on the Isle of Man in 1992

Chief Minister Allan Bell said another "major hurdle" had been overcome in passing the equality legislation.

He has described Mr Houghton's amendments as "completely unacceptable" and a "throwback to the dark, dark days of the 1980s".

Homosexuality was only decriminalised on the Isle of Man in 1992 - a quarter of a century later than in England and Wales.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is based on the same legal framework introduced in England two years ago and would enable couples to marry in a civil ceremony or, subject to agreement, in a religious ceremony.

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