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Isle of Man Legalizes Gay Marriage
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of April 28, 2016) The legislative assembly of the Isle of Man voted for the amendment act concerning same-sex marriage and civil unions in third lecture. 6 of the 11 deputies voted for the act, 2 against it and 3 abstained from voting.
The legislative initiative had the support of Prime Minister Allan Bell who has never made a secret out of his own homosexuality and has lived in a same-sex couple for decades.
The official name of the new law issued by the legislative assembly is Marriage (same-sex couples) act 2016. It amends the act of 1984 on marriage and the act of 2011 on civil unions of the Isle of Man, plus some other related laws and regulations.
Obviously, the new act relates only to civil weddings and does not force any priests of the Anglican Church to perform religious same-sex weddings.
Civil or religious weddings, hetero- or homosexual ones, may be held in approved buildings and civil registries. They may also be celebrated in other buildings if the building owner agrees.
Most changes apply to terminology, and so the terms husband, widower, wife and widow will apply to each partner of a homo- or heterosexual couple from now on.
Legal procedures such as divorce, separation, annulation etc. have also been unified and will be applied independently of a person's gender.
Same-sex partners may from now on transform their civil unions into marriage automatically.
On the website of the Isle of Man parliament (Tynwald), there is no indication of the effective date and other modalities of the new law.
It is not clear either whether it applies to social security benefits, inheritance and other rights.
In January 2016 (see our article), the parliament of the Isle of Man very thoroughly discussed the arguments for and against same-sex marriage and took a stand against the worst homophobic positions.
Interestingly, registered partnerships (civil unions) of the Isle of Man are the only ones in Great Britain to apply to hetero- and homosexual couples likewise (see our article).
Northern Ireland is the only country of the U.K. that has not legalized same-sex civil unions nor same-sex marriage.
Frank-S / MensGo
(Via English press articles of April 26, 2016, including BBC.)