Faroe Islands’ Same-sex Marriage Bill Receives Royal Assent

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A same-sex marriage bill from the Faroe Islands was given Royal Assent on May 3rd in Denmark.

This ends the legislation’s one year journey from the islands to Danish Parliament and same-sex weddings can begin for the Faroese once a date is chosen by the Danish Justice Minister.

The bill ratified and promulgated this month in Denmark repeals a section of the 2012 Danish marriage law which excluded its constituent territories of Greenland and Faroe Islands from having to perform same-sex weddings. The bill also contains provisions that will give full adoption rights to all Faroese couples.

Greenland previously copied Denmark’s gender-neutral wording into their matrimonial laws in 2016, while the Faroese Parliament mirrored most of Denmark’s legislation but included a clause that does not allow same-sex couples to marry in the local Church, making it the only region of the Danish Kingdom to do so. This exemption was added to guarantee the bill’s approval on the islands after fierce parliamentary debates.

Same-sex weddings are expected to begin in the Faroe Islands in the coming weeks.

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Same-sex Couples Can Now Marry on the Island of Guernsey

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On May 2nd, the largest island in the Bailiwick of Guernsey officially extended the right to marry to all couples and applications for weddings have been accepted since then.

After first voting for equal marriage rights in principle in December of 2015, the States of Guernsey voted for a draft same-sex marriage bill in September of 2016 that received Royal Assent last December.

The final step required, an ordinance of commencement, was approved in April 2017 and came into effect on Tuesday and allows for couples to hold weddings starting Thursday.

Although the largest island in the bailiwick, Guernsey, allows same-sex marriage, the other two jurisdictions of Alderney and Sark do not.

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Alderney recognizes overseas marriages for purposes such as those of inheritance matters and is considering their own marriage bill. There is no news on when Sark will consider the motion.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in all of Guernsey, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Guernsey

Peruvian Congress Votes to Remove LGBT from Hate Crime Legislation

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After a heated debate extending into early Friday, politicians in Peru voted 66-29 to remove LGBT from the hate crime legislation brought into law through a Presidential Decree earlier this year.

For the first 90 days of his tenure, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the Party For Change, was granted the customary permission by Congress to tackle several of Peru’s issues via decree and took advantage of that right to extend the scope of what registers as a hate crime in the existing Peruvian Penal Code to include sexual orientation and gender identity. His decree came into effect in January of 2017.

Members of the largest party in Congress, Popular Force, whose leader narrowly lost to Kuczynksi in the last Presidential race, were joined by members of the Alliance For Progress in pushing the vote to repeal the section of the decree protecting LGBT from discrimination, persecution and incitement to hatred after claiming that the President was not assigned the power to take this step.

The topic became a controversial one after more than a million signatures were said to be added to a petition calling for the removal of the LGBT terms in the new Penal Code. A Constitutional Committee previously voted in April in favor of a repeal and sent the motion to the plenary where conservative parties hold a majority of seats.

Following Friday’s vote, Peru returns to being one of three South American countries with no anti-discrimination laws covering its LGBT population along with Paraguay and Guyana.