Faroese Parliament has reserved this week for the committee debates on their pending gay marriage bill. The plan is for the Danish constituent territory to eventually adopt Denmark’s gender-neutral marriage laws. The week’s schedule is listed below:
- Monday, January 18 – The Culture Committee will discuss the provision of the law allowing the local Church to decide on whether same-sex ceremonies shall be performed there.
- Tuesday, January 19 – The Welfare Committee will discuss the provision of bringing the Danish marriage legislation into effect on the islands. Amnesty International will be sending a speaker to the debate.
- Wednesday, January 20 – The Legal Committee meeting to debate another provision to bring the marriage law into effect.
- Thursday, January 21 – The Welfare Committee continues the discussion from Tuesday.
The issue became a major election topic in 2015 and the same-sex marriage bill is being spearheaded by the first gay politician to be elected to Faroese Parliament. Together with members of several parties, a proposal was submitted that aims to have gay weddings start on July 1st.
If the law is approved on the Faroese side then the ball would move to Danish Parliament who must ratify the process due to the 2012 Danish gender-neutral marriage legislation containing a clause that states that none of Denmark’s constituent territories shall be affected by the new Danish marriage laws. The bill would then receive Royal Assent as a final step.
Although public opinion polls have shown a wide majority of the islanders in favor, public Parliamentary opinions are divided with 16 of the 33 MPs answering YES, 11 answering NO and 6 not giving any answer to supporting a gay marriage bill according to a poll from one of the region’s biggest newspapers, Sosialurin.
(Image from in.fo)
Clergy, members of the religious community and LGBT activists are scheduled to speak from Monday-Wednesday while Thursday will be reserved for government workers. The debates will begin each day at 9:00 or 9:15 AM local time (1:00/1:15 AM Pacific Time).
For more information on the LGBT rights situation in the Faroe Islands, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_Faroe_Islands