LGBT rights in Jersey

LGBT rights in Jersey
Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status Legal since 1990, equal age of consent since 2006
Military service UK responsible for defence
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation, gender reassignment and intersex status
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage since 2018;
Civil partnerships since 2012
Adoption Legal since 2012

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Jersey have evolved significantly since the early 1990s. Same-sex sexual activity ceased to be contrary to the law in 1990. Since then, LGBT people have been given many more rights equal to that of heterosexuals, such as an equal age of consent (2006), the right to change legal gender for transgender people (2010), the right to enter into civil partnerships (2012), the right to adopt children (2012) and very broad anti-discrimination and legal protections on the basis of "sexual orientation, gender reassignment and intersex status" (2015). Jersey is the only country/territory of the United Kingdom that explicitly includes "intersex status" within anti-discrimination laws. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Jersey since 1 July 2018.

The status of LGBT rights is similar to that of the United Kingdom and the other two Crown dependencies (the Isle of Man and Guernsey); progress albeit has been slower. Societal acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex relationships is high. Jersey organised its first public LGBT event in July 2014, when hundreds of participants gathered in Saint Helier to call for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.[1]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity

Prior to 1990, same-sex sexual activity was a criminal offence. The age of consent was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1995, exactly one year after the United Kingdom lowered the age of consent to 18.[2] The age of consent has been equal at 16 since 2006.[3]

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Jersey allows same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships or marriages.

Civil partnerships

On 20 October 2009, the States of Jersey (Parliament) voted in favour of civil partnerships "in principle". The vote was 48 in favour, 1 against and 4 abstaining.[4][5] Legislation allowing for civil partnerships was approved on 12 July 2011.[6] The bill was signed by Queen Elizabeth II on 14 December 2011 and registered by the royal court on 6 January 2012.[7] The law took effect on 2 April 2012.[8][9][10] It also allows same-sex couples to register their civil partnership in churches, if the church in question chooses to do so.[11]


The States made an in-principle agreement to legalise same-sex marriage on 22 September 2015, voting 37–4.[12][13] Legislation to bring the law into effect was introduced in October 2017.[14] Though delayed on several occasions, the same-sex marriage legislation was approved by the States on 1 February 2018, by a vote of 43–1.[15] The bill received royal assent 23 May 2018, and went into effect on 1 July 2018.[16] The first couple married shortly thereafter.[17]

Adoption and parenting

Both joint and stepchild adoption have been legal since 2012, when the civil partnership law came into effect.[18]

Additionally, lesbian couples can access artificial insemination.

On 23 June 2015, the States of Jersey agreed to bring about changes in their adoption laws, called the Adoption (Amendment No. 7) (Jersey) Law 2015,[19] to grant unmarried couples full adoption rights. Previously, only married couples and couples in civil partnerships were allowed to apply to adopt children.[20] The law came into effect on 16 October 2015.[21]

Discrimination protections

On 2 June 2015, Jersey passed the Discrimination (Sex and Related Characteristics) (Jersey) Regulations 2015, protecting LGBT and intersex people from discrimination. The legislation was approved on third reading by 37 members voting in favour, 1 abstention and 11 absences, and went into effect on 1 September 2015.[22][23]

Gender identity and expression

Transgender people are allowed to change their legal gender and to have their new gender recognised as a result of the Gender Recognition (Jersey) Law 2010.[24]

Additionally, transgender people are fully protected through anti-discrimination laws.[22]

Blood donation

Gay and bisexual men have been allowed to donate blood, provided they haven't had sex in a year, since 2011.[25]

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal (Since 1990)
Equal age of consent (Since 2006)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment (Since 2015)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services (Since 2015)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) (Since 2015)
Same-sex marriages (Since 2018)
Recognition of same-sex couples (e.g. civil partnerships) (Since 2012)
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples (Since 2012)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples (Since 2012)
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military (Since 2000)
Right to change legal gender (Since 2010)
Access to IVF for lesbians (Since 2012)
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples (Banned for heterosexual couples as well)
MSMs allowed to donate blood / (1 year deferral period)

See also


  1. Jersey holds first gay rights rally
  3. Jersey Politicians vote to reduce gay age of consent
  4. Jersey States approves civil partnerships
  5. New rights for homosexual couples
  6. Vote for Draft Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 201- Third Reading
  7. Jersey’s religious civil partnership rules near implementation
  8. Marriage and Civil Status (Approved Premises) (Amendment) (Jersey) Order 2012
  9. Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 2012 Archived 2015-09-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  11. United Reformed Church could be first on Jersey to host civil partnerships
  12. P.77/2015 Same-sex marriage, divorce and dissolution
  13. Same-sex marriage, divorce and dissolution – paragraph (a)
  14. Jersey States supports same-sex marriage
  15. "Equal marriage legislation passed by Jersey politicians". Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  16. "Jersey to introduce same-sex marriage from 1 July". BBC News. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  17. History is made Jersey as first same-sex wedding takes place
  18. Adoption (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2012
  19. Adoption (Amendment No. 7) (Jersey) Law 201-
  20. Changes to law mean unmarried couples can adopt
  22. 1 2 Jersey passes law protecting LGBT and intersex people from discrimination
  23. Discrimination (Sex and Related Characteristics) (Jersey) Regulations 2015
  25. Jersey campaigner welcomes end of gay blood ban
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