Liberate is the Channel Islands’ equality and diversity charity. We have branches in Jersey and Guernsey, serving islanders in both Bailiwicks.
If you want to find out more about what is happening in Guernsey, please follow this link.
Liberate was formed in February 2014 in Guernsey and in August 2014 in Jersey in order to steer the Channel Islands’ response to the change in UK legislation that brought in equal marriage. Since our formation, we have been involved in consultations with the States of Jersey and Guernsey on equal marriage law and, in Jersey, sex discrimination law, ensuring that the islands’ LGBTQ voice is heard by its governments. Equal marriage legislation has been approved in Jersey, in principle, and expected to be law by the end of 2017.
Together with our partner organisation Trans* Jersey, we have worked to learn from and improve on the UK’s Equality Act in Jersey. As a result, Jersey’s sex discrimination legislation, which came into force in September 2015, includes recognition of intersex as a protected characteristic and protections for all people who are of non-binary gender, not just those who are under medical supervision to transition.
In June 2014, Jersey held a rally to press the States of Jersey for equal marriage. Nearly 1,000 islanders took to the streets after a whirlwind Facebook campaign of a few days. The resulting march was more akin to Pride than a political rally. In September 2015, Liberate was responsible for delivering the first ever Pride to be held in the Channel Islands. Hosted by Jersey, over 3,000 people took part. Liberate built on these numbers in September 2016 with the first pan-island Pride taking place in Guernsey and Jersey. Over 2,000 people attended Guernsey Pride and 5,000 people attended Jersey Pride.
Video made by Jersey residents to celebrate Pride 2015:
September 2016 also saw the first ever Channel Islands Equality & Diversity Awards. These were presented by Liberate and judged by an independent diversity panel. Seven awards were presented including a special award for a particular initiative or piece of work around E&D and a lifetime achievement award for an individual or group who have been working for equality for a number of years. The response to the awards by the business community was extremely positive and the second awards evening was held in March 2018.
With the successful introduction of anti-discrimination legislation in Jersey, Liberate’s task has shifted from one of consultation to education and we have rolled out a series of talks around discrimination in the workplace that have proved popular with all organisations. A year later, Liberate has delivered over 50 of these one hour talks, free of charge.
Liberate also launched a new DIFERA employer accreditation scheme in May 2017 that demonstrates to employees (past, present and future), to clients and suppliers that the organisation places Diversity, Inclusion, Fairness, Equality, Respect and Acceptance at the heart of what it does. The scheme has grown during 2018 and now includes a way for businesses to “pay it forward” by sponsoring a charity to go on the DIFERA+ scheme.
2017 saw the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. In February 2018, the long-awaited legislation was finally passed in Jersey. Liberate was involved in the consultation to make this happen in both Bailiwicks.