Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man same-sex marriage bill approved

Men exchanging wedding rings Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Plans to legalise same-sex marriage on the Isle of Man have split public opinion

Plans to legalise same-sex marriage on the Isle of Man have been approved.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill had its third reading in the Legislative Council, where six members voted in favour of the bill and three against.

Same-sex couples on the island have been able to enter civil partnerships since April 2011, but not marriage.

The Manx Rainbow Association said the changes show the Isle of Man is "shaking off its dark past".

Homosexuality was illegal under Isle of Man law until 1992. The age of consent was set at 21 but has since been lowered to 16.

The Act, introduced in England and Wales in 2014, enables couples to marry in a civil ceremony or subject to agreement, in a religious ceremony.

The move follows the launch of a public consultation last year which attracted 176 responses.

Of those, 76 people were opposed to the changes, 90 were in support, while 10 were neutral.

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