LGBT rights in the Isle of Man

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LGBT rights in the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
Isle of Man
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1994,
age of consent equalized in 2006
Gender identity/expression Transsexual persons allowed to change legal gender
Recognition of
(see below)
Adoption Joint adoption by same-sex couples is avaliable since 2009
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protections (see below)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Isle of Man may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in the Isle of Man, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all of the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

Former laws against homosexuality

The Isle of Man was once known to be rather homophobic, as sodomy laws existed until rather recently in 1994, although they have since been abolished. Prior to September 1992, sodomy was illegal, then after decriminalization of sodomy (after the royal assent), the age of consent was set at 21 (in line with the UK at that time); then in 2001, the age of consent for male homosexual acts was lowered to 18. In 2006, the age of consent was lowered to 16, became gender-neutral for all sexual conduct (including sodomy); regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.[1]

Gender identity/expression

Transsexual persons are allowed to change their legal gender.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Today, there is still no system of recognising same-sex marriage. However, couples who have entered into a civil partnership in the United Kingdom are recognised by the Isle of Man Department of Health and Social Security for pension purposes. The other rights of a civil partnerships are not provided.[2] On 26 August 2009 the Civil Partnership (Isle Of Man) Bill 2009 was introduced and will be debated in October 2009 [1]. This bill would be mirrored on the UK one, providing same-sex couples with most of the rights of marriage.

On 12 April 2010 the Civil Partnership (Isle Of Man) Bill 2009 passed the second reading[2][3][4][5][6]. The passing of the third reading (the last stage before "assent") is expected by June 2010 [7].

Adoption and family planning

Isle of Man since 1 March 2009 under the Adoption Amendment (Same Sex Couples) Act 2008 allow same-sex couples access to full joint adoption (on the same level as their England, Wales, Scotland and Jersey counterparts). [8].

Discrimination protections

In 2005, the Isle of Man adopted legislation that outlawed the dismissal of employees on the grounds of their sexuality.[3] Isle of Man LGBT reports that the government at the time was "falling behind" in line with European Human Rights decisions.[4]

Summary table

Homosexuality legal Yes (since 1992)
Equal age of consent Yes (since 2006)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes (since 2006)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (since 2006)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (including indirect discrimination) Yes (since 2006)
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes (since 2006, partial recognition of UK civil partnerships only, Civil Partnership (Isle of Man) Bill 2010 pending)
Adoption by same-sex couples Yes (since 2009)
Gays allowed to serve in the military Yes (under UK military since 2000)
Right to change legal gender Yes (since 2007)
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes (under UK Human Fertility Services Network since 2009)
Men who have sex with men (MSM) allowed to donate blood No (under review)

See also



*Some information provided in whole or in part by