You may think that Liberate spends the year organising Channel Islands Pride ready for September(!), in fact we spend most of the year talking – talking to people about diversity and inclusion through our educational sessions, but also through our campaigning work to bring about change within the Channel Islands on various issues.
These are the issues that we are currently working on (click on the titles for more details):
Now that Jersey has same-sex marriage included in its marriage legislation, where does that leave civil partnerships, which can only be for same-sex couples? What about opposite-sex couples who would like a civil partnership? The UK has recently opened up civil partnerships to all couples. What should Jersey do?
Another issue left over from the work promised by the States of Jersey in 2015 is the need for divorce to be less contentious by removing the ability for one partner to blame the other for the breakdown. This work also includes the question of adultery as it is legally defined, currently the definition is unequal as adultery can only happen in a particular way.
Again, another inequality that exists in law and that is work left over from the change to the marriage law. Same-sex parents need the same rights as opposite-sex parents when they register the birth of their child. This happens in the UK and Jersey needs to address this issue.
Launching our work in this area on World AIDS Day, we are researching what support those living with HIV have within the Channel Islands and what more they would like to see done. Once the research phase is complete, we anticipate there will be campaign work to do.
Currently, transgender islanders are processed through mental health services. Gender dysphoria was finally declassified as a mental health condition by the World Health Organisation in June 2018. With a stretched mental health service, it makes no sense for transgender clients to tie up mental health professionals’ time unnecessarily.
To apply for a gender recognition certificate in Jersey transgender islanders are required to hold a gender recognition certificate from another jurisdiction. Liberate believes that this “outsourcing” model abdicates the States of Jersey’s responsibility of care to its transgender citizens and that there exists an opportunity for Jersey’s government to put in place an exemplary self-declaration process that is closer to the ones seen in other countries in Europe.
We are involved with and supporting other initiatives to bring about change including:
- Narrowing the gender pay gap, and encouraging more women to apply for leadership roles and to stand for election;
- Campaigns highlighting the systemic inequalities for black, mixed race and minority ethnic communities; and,
- Awareness raising around the ‘reasonable adjustments’ required by the disability protections of the Discrimination Law.