On Tuesday, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2016 made its way through the first round of the Isle’s Legislative Council, or Upper House. The bill was approved in the House of Keys (Lower House) on March 9th and the vote to approve the bill in its first of three required readings in the smaller Legislative Council was 6-3.
Isle of Man has an existing civil partnership bill with full adoption rights and many MPs agreed that it’s time to close the gap between the recognition of different relationships on the island.
The proposal seeks to extend marriage equality to the island by allowing same-sex nuptials, recognizing foreign marriages as marriages instead of partnerships, and by giving gay couples in partnerships the option of converting their union into a marriage. It will also allow heterosexual couples to enter civil partnerships as currently they are only available to homosexual pairs.
The Manx leader, Chief Minister Alan Bell, hopes to have the bill passed and promulgated in time for summer weddings.
The chamber will be on Easter break and shall resume its work on April 26th.
For more information on the LGBT rights situation in Isle of Man, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_Isle_of_Man