Alderney politicians back same-sex marriage law

image captionAlderney couple Dits Preece, left, and Allen Jones, right, at the meeting where politicians backed the same-sex marriage law

Alderney's government has approved a law allowing same-sex couples to marry on the island for the first time.

Nine of the Channel Island's ten politicians supported the move at a meeting on Wednesday.

The island follows neighbouring Guernsey, where same-sex couples have been able to marry since May 2017.

Jersey is drafting same-sex marriage legislation which it plans to introduce in 2018.

Alderney resident Allen Jones said the law would bring the island "into the 21st century", but one politician warned against its introduction.

Mr Jones and his partner Dits Preece plan to be the first same-sex couple to marry in Alderney, however the island's small openly gay community, thought to be around 20, will have to wait for the law to receive assent by the UK Privy Council.

Guernsey's same-sex marriage law, subject to the same process, took 15 months to come into effect following political approval.

'Over the moon'

Following the decision in Guernsey, Mr Jones and Mr Preece said islanders were asking when they were going to marry on a "daily" basis.

"It was always my greatest thrill and I always wanted to marry Allen on the island, when I first moved here 13 years ago," Mr Preece said.

"Having heard the news it's so exciting, I'm just over the moon about it."

"I think that with it now being passed and they're going ahead, that it's opened the doors to lots more couples who would wish to come to Alderney and be married here and make it their holiday at the same time."

image captionThe same-sex marriage laws were approved by Guernsey States in 2015

Same-sex marriages

  • In 2001 the Netherlands became the first country to allow same-sex marriages
  • They are now legal in more than 20 countries
  • Same-sex marriage was legalised in England and Wales in March 2014 and Scotland since December the same year
  • Jersey's government is drafting same-sex marriage legislation, with the intention of introducing it in 2018

Alderney's most senior politician James Dent said he was pleased same-sex marriage would now be written into law.

"The chamber was very much in favour of it and it's very nice to see Alderney keeping up with the times, and I support this motion absolutely."

Ian Tugby was the only politician to abstain from the vote, claiming married same-sex couples would confuse youngsters.

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