Jersey to introduce same-sex marriage by January 2017 under plans

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image captionIf approved, the new same sex marriage legislation will be in place by January 2017

Same-sex couples in Jersey will be able to get married if plans by the chief minister are approved.

Senator Ian Gorst's proposals will allow for civil and religious same-sex weddings.

The plans would include protection for religious organisations who do not wish to conduct same-sex weddings.

Under the legislation, that will be debated in September, couples with a civil partnership will be able to convert to a marriage.

Christian May, vice chairman of equality campaign group Liberate, said he was delighted.

'Positive step'

He said it was "a positive step for Jersey and its LGBT community".

Mr Gorst said there would also be no spousal veto if one partner wishes to change gender.

Unmarried fathers named on birth certificates will also get automatic parental responsibility under the plans.

A system for same-sex divorce and dissolution, including the requirement to access mediation services, will be introduced.

If approved by politicians, same-sex marriage will be in place no later than January 2017.

The original review was called for after a proposition by Deputy Sam Mezec, of Reform Jersey, who tried to introduce equal marriage in 2014.

Jersey will host its first Pride Parade on Saturday 12 September.

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