British Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Alicia A. Kearns has made the call for British Overseas Territories (OTs) to support the legalisation of same-sex marriages as well as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) community.
Ms Kearns made the call during the Debate on the Future of the Overseas Territories, at the Annual Summit of Overseas Territories hosted in London on May 11, 2023.
Kearns is leading the debate on the UK’s relationship with its OTs, which span Europe, the Caribbean, Pacific and the Atlantic.
“I also do want to mention briefly, Mr Deputy Speaker, a call for all Overseas Territories to fully support the LGBTQ+ communities. We need to legalise same-sex marriage and for the UK Government to do more than simply supporting in principle.
"In families, there are arguments and disputes, and at least across the Christmas table, but most of all we know that we can talk to our friends and our family more honestly than we can to any other. So it’s crucial we have this conversation,” Kearns said.
This statement was made on the heels of her comment in which she stated that all British OTs, which she referred to as family, enjoy the right to self-determination and decide their own government and constitutional relationship with the UK.
There are Representatives from seven OTs present at the debate.
British Conservative Member of Parliament
(MP) Alicia A. Kearns has made the call for British Overseas
Territories (OTs) to support the legalisation of same-sex marriages as
well as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or
questioning (LGBTQ+) community.
The [British] Virgin Islands is set to execute a referendum regarding same-sex marriage, as Government prepares for a court case regarding the issue.
Back in June 2022, Kinisha Forbes and Kirsten Lettsome sued the VI Government, on the grounds that they were denied a marriage license from the Registrar General because they were a same-sex couple.
If the couple were to be successful, section 13(1)(c) of the Territory’s Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, would be declared as unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void which would lead to same-sex marriage becoming legal in the VI, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had claimed last year.
At the announcement of the referendum in December 2022, Premier Wheatley indicated that in response to the legal challenge, the VI Government, through counsel assigned by the Attorney General’s Chambers, is vigorously defending the local laws, which clearly define marriage between a man and a woman.
Dr Wheatley had also stated that the referendum will further consider the question of whether the state should introduce new legislation that would provide any person in a domestic partnership certain legal rights, such as the ability to pass on one’s estate to their partner regardless of sex.
The Premier recently stated that the referendum is expected to be held by June 2023.
British Overseas Territories have long been resisting pressure, including from the United Kingdom, to legalise same-sex marriages.