26 November 2014
A report, lodged with the States today, sets out a commitment to enable same-sex couples to get married in Jersey by the end of 2017 at the very latest.
The report, which summaries the responses to the recent public consultation on equal marriage and partnership, concludes that:
- marriage matters to Islanders. There are differences of opinion as to whether same-sex marriage should, or should not be introduced, there is clear agreement on the importance of marriage in our community;
- while some people in our community do not support same-sex marriage, it would nevertheless be unreasonable to continue to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to get married.
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said “It is clear from the responses to the consultation that marriage matters to Islanders and although many have strongly-held contrasting views on whether marriage should evolve to include same-sex couples, they nevertheless agree on its importance. Our aim is to uphold marriage for all couples, all families and for the wider community. That will include bringing forward same-sex marriage legislation but also looking at what the States of Jersey should do to support marriage and families if we are to help ensure that children grow in stable, happy homes.”
The key commitments made in the report are to:
- bring forward legislation which will allow same-sex couples to get married in civil and religious ceremonies by the end of 2017
- safeguard the right of religious organisations and officials who do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages
- develop a family policy statement by the end of 2015, setting out what the States should seek to do to support families and marriage in all their forms
- consider the legal rights for co-habiting couples
- consider whether the grounds for divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership should be amended
- all draft legislation will be subject to full public consultation