This week, the Isle of Man’s Legislature advanced two proposals in favor of LGBT rights.
Yesterday, the Isle of Man’s House of Keys approved the island’s same-sex marriage bill in its third reading on a vote of 17-3. The bill now moves to the island’s upper house, the Legislative Council.
In the Legislative Council, the Equality Bill, which aims to combine all existing anti-discrimination laws into one piece of legislation and add sexual orientation in goods and services for the first time, had its first reading on Tuesday as well. Usually, bills enter the House first, but the supporters of the Equality Bill sent it to the Council to prevent it from lapsing if it does not reach all the required stages before the general election in September of this year.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2016 would allow gay couples to marry on the island and convert their civil partnership to a marriage if they desire. It will also extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.
The Equality Bill first came to the forefront after a case of a religious leader refusing to rent a house to a lesbian couple became big news on the island.
The Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, Alan Bell, who announced that he is gay in an interview last year, is spearheading both bills. Bell’s plan is to have the first gay weddings performed in the summer.
For more information on the LGBT rights situation in the Isle of Man, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_Isle_of_Man