Guernsey has voted in favour of changing the legal definition of marriage, in a debate that raised “strong emotions” on the island.
Following a lengthy debate, politicians backed same-sex marriage by 37 votes to 7.
They rejected two amendments, including a proposal for civil partnerships.
Legislation on the issue will now be drafted, with a spokesman for Guernsey’s Policy Council saying the legal change was not likely to come into force before 2017.
Hunter Adam, one of Guernsey’s Deputies, commented that introducing same-sex marriage “at this time could be considered by some as a step too far”, and said the issue had raised “strong emotions”.
Chief Minister Jonathan Le Tocq, who pushed for the change, expressed his desire to bring Guernsey “into line with other neighbouring jurisdictions”.
Ahead of the vote, twelve Guernsey church ministers expressed their concern about a redefinition of marriage, and urged Deputies to vote against it.
The Guernsey Press newspaper printed the ministers’ comments, as well as adverts from pro-traditional marriage campaign group Coalition for Marriage.