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Same-sex marriage law apology

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THE Chief Minister apologised for the ‘unforeseen delay’ in introducing same-sex marriage legislation in Jersey as hundreds of Islanders, of all sexualities, marched in solidarity at Jersey Pride.

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It was announced on Friday that legislation allowing same-sex couples to wed, instead of having to settle for civil partnerships, would not be introduced before the end of the year – contrary to previous plans.

The announcement came on the eve of the third Pride event in Jersey. Hundreds of Islanders, many dressed in bright colours and waving flags, put up with the rain to march through St Helier on Saturday afternoon.

Shortly before the march, Chief Minister Ian Gorst tweeted to apologise for the delay in bringing in equal marriage. He wrote: ‘Sorry for unforeseen delay with new marriage law. Doing all we can to get back on track so all can enjoy wedding day asap. Enjoy #cipride.’

The law was supposed to be in place by the autumn but the States say changes, which include an overhaul of the whole marriage law, are proving complicated.

Hundreds of Islanders gathered in West’s Centre where dancers entertained crowds before the parade made its way through St Helier to the Weighbridge. There crowds were treated to live music, food and more dancing, as well as speeches from Vic Tanner-Davy, the chief executive of Liberate, and Colin Macleod, the chief executive of the Co-Op, which sponsored the event.

Mr Macleod, wearing a rainbow coloured bow tie, said all around the world, including Jersey, people are ‘suffering’ because they are different.

He referenced Muslims around the world and the women of America ‘rising up against a misogynistic President’.

‘The misunderstood. The persecuted. The violated. All because they are different,’ he said.

Speaking about Jersey, he added: ‘We can’t change the whole world but we can change our world. You have proved it. So, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Be co-operative. Be curious. Be kind.

‘Maybe one day we can create the new Jersey Way. Our Jersey Way.’

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