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Deputies to debate civil unions within the next year

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DEPUTIES will debate whether to accept a States-recognised civil union for both heterosexual and same-sex couples within the next year.

The Policy Council recently met to discuss a paper on 'Union Civile', which sets out options for work on a non-discriminatory system to provide legal recognition for long-term relationships whether homosexual or heterosexual.

Deputy John Gollop, pictured, yesterday raised the issue in a question to Chief Minister Peter Harwood in the States.

Deputy Harwood said the Policy Council had identified and agreed the options and work streams with a view to bringing a proposal to the States within the next 12 months – resources permitting.

Liz Taylor-Kerr, 40, has been with her female partner for around 13 years.

The couple had a ceremony in 2004 to recognise their commitment to each other but it was not legal.

'It has been pushed back and back for so long so for the States to even be looking at it and debating it shows it is at the forefront of their minds and they are more likely to push it through,' the former island basketball star said. 'I think society is moving in the right direction but with legislation it just takes longer.'

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