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Same-sex marriage finally approved in Isle of Man

Same-sex marriage finally approved in Isle of Man

Same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 US states in 2015.

The Isle of Man has finally approved same-sex marriage.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Amendment) Bill had its third and final reading in the Legislative Council of the British crown dependency that sits between the UK and Ireland.

Six members voted in favor, and three were against.

The bill allows same-sex couples to get married and opposite-sex couples to civil partnerships. The latter is currently not available to straight people in the rest of the UK.

In October 2015, Chief Minister Allan Bell revealed he had been in a relationship with another man for the past 21 years.

He said legalizing same-sex marriage would draw a line under the Isle of Man’s ‘dark days’. In the 1980s, a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality (which punished gay sex with life imprisonment) was met with bigotry from the Manx parliament. Homosexuality was finally decriminalized in 1992.

Bell said: ‘Everyone who loves their partner, whether same-sex or otherwise, must have equal rights to share their lives. It’s a totally logical human right and human expectation that straight couples and gay couples should be able to enjoy life with the partner that they choose and I totally support that.’

England and Wales first introduced same-sex marriage in March 2014, with Scotland following in December of the same year. It is not available in Northern Ireland.