Jersey States approves civil partnerships

image captionPeople in same-sex relationships in Jersey now have similar rights to married couples

Jersey's new civil partnership law means people in same sex relationships now have similar rights to married couples.

The States approved the law on Tuesday.

In the UK the law allows same sex ceremonies in religious buildings but this was not previously part of the States' proposals.

Following an amendment, if in future politicians agreed to allow churches to perform marriages, the change could be made without changing the law.

Until now, gay and lesbian couples could not have a civil partnership ceremony in Jersey and it was not recognised in financial disputes.

The Treasury minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, is supportive of the law, but does not think it was necessary to give same-sex couples marriage rights.

"I have always believed that the most important thing is to get the legislation in, in order to put in place the civil partnership arrangement which is not the same as marriage but it is an absolute equivalent to marriage."

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