Marriage Equality Comes To The Falkland Islands

“The move sends a clear and powerful message that all people and all relationships are equal."

Same-sex marriage legislation has passed on the Falkland Islands, the small British overseas territory located some 300 miles off the coast of South America.

Map showing the Falkland Islands

The country’s Legislative Assembly approved the measure in a 7-to-1 vote on March 30. It allows same-sex couples to marry and also allows both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships. A provision states that “a parent in a civil partnership…has the same rights and responsibilities towards a child as a parent to a child in a marriage” and that “…parents to a child may be two mothers or two fathers.”

The bill must still receive royal assent and will go into effect on a day appointed by the Governor.

“The move sends a clear and powerful message that all people and all relationships are equal,” a spokesperson told PinkNews. “It does not matter whether they are a same-sex couple or not.” The law, he added, “reflects the Falkland Islands’ tradition of being an open, tolerant and respectful community.”

The Falklands has a population of about 3,000 people, 90% of whom were in favor of marriage equality in a government survey. Homosexuality was decriminalized in the Falklands in 1989, and the age of consent was equalized in 2005. The Falklands will hold its annual Pride event—the southernmost Pride event on Earth—at the end of this month.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.