Presentation on theme: "Same-sex marriage consultation Presentation by Vic Tanner Davy of Trans* Jersey to the Chief Minister 29 July 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Same-sex marriage consultation Presentation by Vic Tanner Davy of Trans* Jersey to the Chief Minister 29 July 2014
Introduction I am transgender. I was born female, but I live now as a transman. I am an activist for equal human rights. I blog about LGBT rights and issues. I am a writer. I have two published novels and am working on my third. My second novel (A Very Civil Wedding) dealt with the issue of same-sex marriage in the UK and garnered praise from both the LGBT and Christian communities for its exploration and in-depth handling of the issue.
Why? “They’ve got Civil Partnerships, why do they want marriage?” Why do you want marriage? Because it is a globally understood and respected concept. Civil partnerships are not. Married same-sex couples from the UK coming to live and work in Jersey have no means for their marriage to be recognised. Having two “streams” for marrying people doesn’t work for the transgender community.
Why not? Imagine you are happily married and your partner, who you love, decides to transition. Two years later, you are still together and they apply for their GRC only to be told that they cannot have a full GRC until they divorce you. Which do you choose? The legal protection of having a GRC or your marriage? This is clearly an impossible choice.
What’s the solution? There are two acceptable options: The Marriage & Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 that enables couples to switch from a marriage or civil partnership to a same-sex marriage simply. The Union Civile that removes the ability to legally marry two people from religious groups and gives it to the state. Thus, removing religious belief from the debate.
The Scottish solution The Scottish same-sex marriage law: provides for belief organisations to conduct mixed-sex marriages, same-sex marriages and/or civil partnerships provides two ways to change an existing civil partnership to a marriage: by submitting a form, or by marrying in the usual way provides a route for gender recognition for a person in a civil partnership, changing the civil partnership to a marriage, all in one step includes adultery as grounds for dissolving a same-sex marriage
Where’s the problem? The potential problems include: Religious groups may not like the lack of a “quadruple” lock to protect them (even though this is unnecessary as the Scottish law makes special reference to religious groups being able to opt out). Civil partnerships still exist, leaving two “streams” for marriage open.
Can we use the Eng & Wales model? Absolutely not. The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 contains a nasty “gotcha” called the Spousal Veto. Trans* groups in the UK are calling for its removal on the grounds that it is unnecessary and an infringement of a trans person’s human rights.
Perfect! Where’s the problem? Unlike New Zealand, and a number of other countries, where this works, we have an established church in the UK. To pass the Union Civile Jersey would have to be prepared to remove the automatic right to marry people from the Anglican churches. This may be misunderstood as a move to disestablish the Church of England.
For your consideration... Please consider the Union Civile. It is the “gold standard” solution to this question and does not differ greatly from what happens now for the majority of couples getting married. Our initial research indicates that the nonconformist Christian groups would support this. Any questions about how the Union Civile will work?
What do we want? Non-negotiables: A means for same-sex couples to marry A means for marriages to convert easily to same-sex marriages without divorce, and vice versa (no Spousal Veto) A means for existing civil partnerships to convert easily to same- sex marriages A means for religious groups who wish to carry out same-sex marriages to do so A means for religious groups who do not wish to carry out same- sex marriages to be exempted without fear of criminal prosecution Equality with opposite-sex marriages
Please take half an hour to read through the handout at some point. It explains the Union Civile in more detail. If you feel that you cannot bring it before the States, we would ask that you please bring a proposal based on the Scottish same-sex marriage law.
Thank you Vic Tanner Davy Tel on Twitter Follow the transjersey.org blog