Sark becomes the last place in the British Isles to allow same-sex couples to marry

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The channel island, which has a population of around 500, became the last remaining place in the British Isles without same-sex marriage after Northern Ireland finally approved it after a long-term battle. Officially a fief within the bailiwick of Guernsey, Sark maintains its own independent legal system, overseen by its own ancient parliament, the Chief Pleas. And sometimes it approves laws that might seem kind of weird for the rest of the world – like banning vehicles and street lights. In October, Sark voted to draft legislation that would allow same-sex marriage, and the new law was officially approved by the Chief Pleas on December 17 2019. It must now go to the British Privy Council and Guernsey’s Royal Court, but it is expected to come into force by next month. When the island voted to draft the law in October, conseiller Peter La Trobe-Bateman said in a report: “As society and attitudes have advanced greatly, the Committee would like Sark to be able to offer same-sex marriage on the island. The legal recognition of same-sex partnership is an important issue and one which Sark must address if it is to be regarded as a jurisdiction that takes equality seriously.”

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