2 July 2016 is a landmark day on the Isle of Man as legislation allowing same-sex marriages comes into force. This continues to highlight the ever-changing views of society and the move to giving everyone in a relationship equal rights.
The Isle of Man has its own legal system separate from the UK. Whilst same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil partnerships since 2011 on the Isle of Man, they have been lagging behind with the same-sex legislation introduced in England and Wales. The new legislation will give same-sex couples equal rights to opposite-sex couples. Same-sex couples have been able to marry since 2014 in England and Wales.
In England and Wales, same-sex couples can get married or form a civil partnership – something which is not available to opposite-sex couples. This is important as cohabitants who want to cement their relationship and benefit from the law both during and at the ending of their relationship can do so by entering into a civil partnership. Still, if you are an opposite-sex couple then you can only marry to benefit from such laws.
There remain calls to change the law for cohabiting couples, whether they are in a same-sex or opposite-sex relationship, so the harsh results often seen on separation or death of one of the parties is avoided.
You should always get advice if you are about to or are living with someone outside a civil partnership or marriage, so you know what your rights are. Protection measures can if necessary, be put in place.
It is understood that the first same-sex marriage on the Isle of Man will occur at the end of July – good luck to them!
Anthony Jones is Head of Family Law and is a Resolution Accredited Specialist. For more information or a second opinion, please contact him on 0161 641 4555 or email email@example.com