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Isle Of Man Civil Partnerships

You wouldn't think it from my Aussie inflection (well "strine") of voice, but my homeland (by family) is doing me more proud than my home at this stageā€¦

The Isle Of Man, located between England and Ireland is considering civil partnerships - and it makes me feel so good.

Most of my family lives on that little island, and its a truly remarkable and beautiful place - like Scotland, the Isle Of Man has a separate constitution and government to the English mainland.

It has always been an open and welcoming place, and its great to see that it will be coming into line with the rest of the civilised world.

The Isle of Man's House of Keys will debate whether to introduce civil partnerships for gay couples on the island.

The Civil Partnerships Bill will have its first reading tomorrow and, if passed into law, will give gay and lesbian couples the same rights afforded to straight married couples.

Treasury minister Allan Bell said he hoped the bill would change perceptions of the island.

According to the BBC, he said: "I think we have a far more tolerant and understanding community on the Isle of Man. Gay relationships are considered as quite acceptable to most people.

"I think the other changes to legislation we have brought in, in relation to the gay issue, have brought the Isle of Man in line with the United Kingdom and indeed the rest of Europe.

"The stigma which we suffered very badly from in the early days has largely gone now and we can hold our head up high and claim we treat all our citizens as equal."

Homosexuality was illegal on the island until 1992 and the age of consent was equalised in 2006.

Currently, the Isle of Man partially recognises UK civil partnerships.

It's a massive step forward, and so much more advanced than Australia - where the issue is hopefully going to be given a conscious vote in the Senate this week - you can write to the PM to get this to happen.

Here is a suggestion of what to write:

Prime Minster Rudd,

Australians who want to marry the one they love should not be discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality.
... See more
I urge you to please allow a CONSCIENCE VOTE on the Greens Marriage Equality Bill that will be debated this week in the Senate.

Kind regards,

(Your Name)

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