Following the registration of the Same-Sex Marriage (Guernsey) Law, 2016, in January, two Ordinances have been drafted, which are required in order to commence the Law and make necessary changes to other Guernsey legislation in preparation for its introduction.
The Ordinances will be considered by the Legislation Review Panel in early March. If the Legislation Review Panel approves the Ordinances, they will be lodged for consideration at a future States Meeting. The earliest opportunity for them to be debated by the States will be at the States Meeting which commences on 26 April.
If the States approve the Ordinances at that meeting, the Law to enable same-sex marriages to take place will come into effect on 2 May 2017. This would mean that the earliest possible date for a same-sex marriage to take place would be 4 May 2017. In order for that to be possible, couples would need to qualify for, and obtain, a special licence from the Greffe, which allows marriages to take place one clear day after giving notice.
It is important to note that, until the Ordinances are approved by both the Legislation Review Panel and subsequently by the States, there is no certainty that the legislation will come into force on 2 May 2017. Furthermore, same-sex couples who are considering getting married should discuss their circumstances with the Greffe before making wedding plans in order to ascertain the notice period applicable for them.
Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security said:
"People are keen to know when same-sex couples will be able to get married in Guernsey. We thought it important to share the information that we have, which is to the best of our knowledge and dependent on the timetable being met as explained."