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British Channel Island of Alderney to Legalize Same-sex Marriage
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of October 21, 2017) On October 18, 2017, the government of the Channel island of Alderney almost unanimously voted for a legislative initiative on legalizing same-sex marriage. The small island in the English Channel is about to follow its two neighboring islands: Guernsey already legalized same-sex marriage in September 2016, and the first same-sex weddings were held in May 2017. Jersey has been debating such a bill since 2015 but the new law will not come into effect before 2018.
The bill currently makes no mention of adoption rights for same-sex couples but explicitly recognizes gay marriages contracted elsewhere. Religious communities and clergymen will not be required to celebrate same-sex religious ceremonies. Couples that would like to have a religious wedding ceremony have to ask for prior written consent of the religious community in question.
The Privy Council of the UK will have to ratify the new law. Although this is only a formality, it may take some time: In the case of Guernsey, it actually took 15 months.
It is worth pointing out however, that Alderney authorities have recognized same-sex partnerships and marriages contracted elsewhere for more than two years already.