T he Isle of Man’s new Marriage and Civil Partnership Act has been granted royal assent, which means same-sex couples will soon be able to tie the knot on the island. The Act is based upon the same one in England and Wales, which made same-sex marriage legal in 2013. The Isle of Man is not technically part of the UK and is elf-governed, although the Queen is still head of state and the UK is still responsible for protecting the island. However, this arrangement has meant that the Isle of Man has lagged behind when it comes to matters of LGBT+ equality.  Most Isle-of-Man-flagsame-sex acts were still illegal until 1992, some 23 years after the UK legalised homosexuality.  However, the age of consent also didn’t change when England voted to make same-sex acts on a legal par with heterosexual sex.

The Island has long held a law banning same-sex marriage. This prevented LGBTs gaining the same rights as their counterparts in the UK who have been freely able to marry for several years now. But following a consultation the Chief Minister Allan Bell announced his attention to repeal this law. A bill to legalise same-sex marriages was introduced this February, which has received royal assent today.  The first marriages are expected to take place on 22nd July.

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Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

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