03 March 2022
Today, the States Assembly has passed laws governing marriage, civil partnerships, the minimum age of marriage, marriage locations and the naming of children.
Although approved today, these laws will not be in place until later this year when the legislative process is complete.
The main aspects that have been passed include:
- Civil partnerships will be extended to all couples, regardless of sex, and married couples will be able to convert a marriage into a civil partnership
- The legal age of marriage and civil partnership will be increased from 16 years of age to 18 years of age in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
- Couples will be able to choose a second wedding location as a backup when hosting an open-air wedding, in case of inclement weather
- In line with similar laws in other jurisdictions, the Superintendent Registrar will be able to refuse to register a child's name that might cause harm or embarrassment to the child – which complies with the Government's commitment of putting children first as well as meeting obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Superintendent Registrar, Claire Follain, said: "These are important amendments to the laws relating to marriage, civil partnership and birth registration which reflect a commitment to equality and the rights of children. I look forward to the near future when these amendments will come into force and Islanders will be able to take advantage of these provisions."
Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Gregory Guida, said: "I am extremely pleased that the States Assembly has approved these laws. This is a turning point in addressing inequality in our marriage and civil partnerships and I hope that more will follow in the near future."