THE VALLEY, Anguilla, The British Government says it has no plans to introduce an Order-In-Council on the legalization of same-sex marriage in its Overseas Territories.
Information released at the government of Anguilla’s weekly press conference on Tuesday 15th May said the UK Government is committed to equal rights, including LGBT rights. We believe that the strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which all citizens can live freely without fear of discrimination, and where all citizens, including LGBT people, can play a full and active part in society, the information said.
It noted that nine Overseas Territories have legal recognition and protection for same sex relationships and at the time of writing, a tenth Territory, the Cayman Islands, was granted a stay in the Chief Justices’s ruling in favor of same-sex mariage until August 2019 when the Governments appeal will be heard.
The British Overseas Territories are separate, largely sells-governing jurisdictions with their own democratically-elected representatives. Our relationship with the Overseas Territories is base on partnership and therefore as policy on marriage law is an area of devolved responsibility it should be for the territories to decide and legislate on. As has been demonstrated by recent LGBT cases, the Territories’ justice mechanisms and processes should be allowed the space to address these matters. We are working to encourage those Territories that have not put in place arrangement to recognize and protect same sex marriages, to do do, and continue to engage with all the Overseas Territories to ensure that their legislation is compliant with their international rights obligations.
LGBT rights and broader rights obligations are consistently raised with the leaders of Overseas Territories – both bilaterally and at the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Councils. This is also a matter that is raised at Governor’s Offices. We have no plans to introduce an Order in Council on this issue, the statement from the FCO concludes.