Guernsey civil partnership law receives renewed calls

Civil partnership campaigners have called for Guernsey to allow them after new laws were introduced in Jersey.

Deputy Carol Steere said she believed it was an "important rights issue" which should not "be put on the back burner".

The Bailiwick of Guernsey currently does not recognise civil partnerships.

However, the States of Guernsey's Policy Council said it would look at introducing a law in principle, but added that it was a low priority.

Deputy Steere, who is retiring from politics at the 2012 Election, said it was a disgrace that Guernsey was lagging behind other jurisdictions.

She said civil partnerships should be an issue in the forthcoming election, and that it would need pressure from the community to ensure it was raised in the new assembly.

Liz Kerr, who is a lesbian living in Guernsey with her partner, said the island was now a "more tolerant place than it used to be".

She added: "We just want to be able to live our the lives the same as everybody else.

"Whether it comes to income tax, hospitals, inheritance etcetera, we just want to be doing what everyone else has - to have our partnership recognised as a marriage would be."

She said she was doubtful about whether civil partnerships would be an election issue, despite having contacted a number of candidates.

Guernsey altered its laws regarding same-sex relationships in 2010, when the homosexual age of consent was lowered to 16 to match the heterosexual age.

Jersey introduced laws on Sunday to allow civil partnerships.

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