Liberate

Marriage update

Liberate has recently spoken with the Chief Minister’s Department and they have confirmed that they are still on track to have same sex marriage passed into Jersey law in December 2017.

The law is with the law draftsman and we should see a draft very soon.

Brexit has thrown an almighty spanner into the works and is producing large amounts of legislation in the UK that needs royal assent at Privy Council. This will have a knock-on effect on Jersey’s marriage law, which as primary legislation will also need to go through Privy Council. This makes the timing of the passing of the law tricky to predict.

The Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law has undergone a complete overhaul to address issues such as making the process for all couples wanting to give notice of intention to marry simpler, clarifying the legal position and responsibilities of step-parents, introducing immigration and identity checks to prevent sham and forced marriages, and enabling couples to choose what the marriage certificate says on it – spouse/spouse, husband/wife, wife/wife or husband/husband. The new law will also not include the so-called “spousal veto” that affects transgender partners in an existing marriage.

The whole process has touched many areas of legislation – some predictable like family law, some not so obvious like tax law – and has had to be worked through carefully to ensure that same sex married couples do not find themselves being discriminated against unintentionally or excluded from a basic right offered by other laws to opposite sex married couples.

There are still some knotty issues to be worked out regarding parental responsibility as it relates to surrogacy and same sex couples, pensions and pension recognition on the death of a spouse, and who the lead taxpayer should be on the personal tax returns of married couples.

Liberate applauds the care that is being taken to get all the island’s legislation right for same sex couples so that, when the law is finally put in place in Jersey, it will be fit for purpose and will not have to be “patched” or return to the States for debate at a later stage.

gay-marriage-uk

The following media release was made public yesterday (21 February 2017) by the States of Guernsey:

Following the registration of the Same-Sex Marriage (Guernsey) Law, 2016, in January, two Ordinances have been drafted, which are required in order to commence the Law and make necessary changes to other Guernsey legislation in preparation for its introduction.

The Ordinances will be considered by the Legislation Review Panel in early March. If the Legislation Review Panel approves the Ordinances, they will be lodged for consideration at a future States Meeting. The earliest opportunity for them to be debated by the States will be at the States Meeting which commences on 26 April.

If the States approve the Ordinances at that meeting, the Law to enable same-sex marriages to take place will come into effect on 2 May 2017. This would mean that the earliest possible date for a same-sex marriage to take place would be 4 May 2017. In order for that to be possible, couples would need to qualify for, and obtain, a special licence from the Greffe, which allows marriages to take place one clear day after giving notice.

It is important to note that, until the Ordinances are approved by both the Legislation Review Panel and subsequently by the States, there is no certainty that the legislation will come into force on 2 May 2017. Furthermore, same-sex couples who are considering getting married should discuss their circumstances with the Greffe before making wedding plans in order to ascertain the notice period applicable for them.

Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security said:

“People are keen to know when same-sex couples will be able to get married in Guernsey. We thought it important to share the information that we have, which is to the best of our knowledge and dependent on the timetable being met as explained.”

Some helpful links are in this ITV Channel report for those wishing to get married in Guernsey.

XX – The 70273 Project

Every year, on 27 January,  the world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day honouring the victims of the Holocaust. Most people are not aware that the Nazi genocide started with disabled people. Persons with handicaps were the first guinea pigs designated for all extermination, sterilization and euthanasia techniques – later applied also to homosexuals, gypsies and political opponents – that finally culminated in the Holocaust of the Jewish population.

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Sterilization, internment and deportation campaigns of people with disabilities started in 1933, in the months immediately after Hitler’s rise. The Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring became one of the means by which the Nazi party implemented its racial and eugenic legislation. After an intensive sterilization campaign -the little known T4 project – in the second half of 1939, they proceeded to systematically kill young people and adults with disabilities. The National Socialist ideology considered these persons as imperfect human beings, and their lives as not worth living.

Between January 1940 and August 1941 (before the Holocaust began), 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls – were murdered by the Nazis. Though they never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, the Nazi doctors read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society”, the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed. Most were murdered within 1-2 hours.

Jersey is taking part in a worldwide quilt-making project called The 70273 Project that commemorates the lives of the disabled people murdered by the Nazis. Members of the public are invited to drop in and sew a block on 4 February 2017 at St Lawrence Parish Hall between 10am and 3pm. You do not need any experience of quilting or even be able to sew. There is an interview with the organisers by the Jersey Evening Post here.

As a charity that supports minorities, many of whom were targeted by the Nazis, this project is one that we urge you to give your time to. It doesn’t take long to make a block for the quilt and, with Holocaust Memorial Day less than a week away, it is a different way to remember those who lost their lives.

If you cannot attend on 4 February but would like to make a block, download the instructions here.

If you want to find out more about this period of hidden history, the Holocaust Memorial Day website has more information.

Friendly fostering

Have you ever considered starting a family but discounted it because the road to having children seems just too hard? This week, Liberate met with the States of Jersey Fostering and Adoption Services and what we discovered might surprise you.

There is no barrier to anyone adopting or fostering children in Jersey. The only criteria is you must be over 25 years old to apply to adopt or foster. You do not have to be in employment, you do not have to be married or in a civil partnership, you do not have to be British. Applications from anyone will be considered and you would never be rejected on the grounds of your identity.

Crucially, Fostering and Adoption are looking for people who:

  • have a stable home life
  • are flexible with their time
  • are good listeners
  • are able to provide guidance and reassurance

LGBT couples worry that their unmarried partnership and sexual orientation will count against them when they come before a Fostering and Adoption Panel. This is not the case. The first same-sex adoption happened in Jersey over 10 years ago. Fostering and Adoption confirmed that single LGBT people, LGBT people who are living together (i.e. not married or in a civil partnership), as well as LGBT married couples (from 2017) or those in a civil partnership, would all be considered suitable parents to apply to adopt or foster a child. The law has also changed recently to allow couples who are living together to adopt jointly.

Currently, Fostering and Adoption are looking for more foster parents than adopters. Fostering can be a hugely rewarding. It is a way of providing stable family life for children and young people who are unable to live with their parents for a period of time. Placements can last for days, months or even years. Many children return home to their families but others may receive long-term support through continued fostering, adoption, residential care or by being helped to live independently.

Fostering week is in May and we will be working with Fostering and Adoption to promote their open days.

In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more, visit Fostering and Adoption or email them at fosteringandadoption@health.gov.je

Truvision Launched

The States of Jersey Police today released their newest weapon in combatting hate crime – Truvision, an online tool that enables anyone in the community who experiences an hate crime to report it.

Some facts you should know about hate crime –

  • Hate crime happens in Jersey;
  • Hate crime can happen to anyone not just people from minority groups;
  • A hate crime happens where it is perceived that the perpetrator’s hostility or prejudice against any person or property is on the grounds of the victim’s ethnicity (race), sexual orientation, gender identity (including transgender), religion, disability;
  • Hate crimes and incidents have one of the highest repeat victimisation rates;
  • Hate crime can take many forms including physical assault; criminal damage to property; verbal abuse – name calling; intimidation; harassment;
  • The perpetrator of the hate crime doesn’t not have to be right about their reason for hating the victim, e.g. calling a straight person “gay” and beating them up for this misconception is still a hate crime;
  • Hate crime does not have to happen to you to report it – you can report a hate crime you have witnessed;
  • Hate crime can have a long lasting (longer lasting than other crimes) effect on the mental health of the victim;
  • The police take hate crime seriously.

Hate crime is under reported across the UK (including Jersey) for a number of reasons – one of which is that some people are wary of talking to the Police face-to-face or over the phone. Maybe they don’t trust the Police because they had a bad experience in the past or maybe they feel they won’t explain themselves clearly enough to be taken seriously. Truvision addresses this problem.

Truvision allows reports to be made anonymously or you can elect to leave your contact details for a follow up. You can also report a hate crime on behalf of someone else who, perhaps, doesn’t have Internet access or the ability to use a computer. Importantly, if you report a hate crime using Truvision, anonymously or otherwise, your report will be added to the statistics on hate crime in Jersey, giving the Police a much better idea of how widespread the problem is.

To find out more, visit report-it.org.uk/states_of_jersey

CI Equality & Diversity Awards 2016

Liberate hosted the first ever Channel Islands Equality & Diversity Awards on Friday 16 September 2016. The awards dinner was held in Jersey for its first year, however it is the intention that next year will see the awards dinner hosted in Guernsey.

2016’s theme for the first ever truly Channel Islands Pride was #unitedthroughpride and it was very heartening  to receive nominations for the awards from Jersey and Guernsey organisations as well as those that work across both Bailiwicks.

Although the Bailiwicks differ in their equality legislation, they both have anti-discrimination laws that protect those who, in the past, have been disadvantaged or marginalised through something as innate as personal identity – be that identity one that rests on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, age, disability or a combination of characteristics. Internationally, in an era that has seen an alarming rise in fundamentalist views of all sorts, this legislation sends an important message to the wider global community that the Channel Islands values all its citizens equally.

The organisations celebrated through the awards understand the importance of embracing the rich diversity of the people that make up the population of the Channel Islands in their workplaces. Cynics will say that diversity is the ‘mot du jour’ and being seen to uphold such liberal values is good for business. However, all the nominees demonstrated inclusion and acceptance of different identities that went beyond ‘ticking the diversity box’.

To those who think equality and diversity are just buzzwords, political correctness gone mad or a drain on already stretched resources, those present at the awards demonstrate ably that this is not the case.

This was what Liberate hoped it would find when we first spoke about the awards. We had a feeling that there were organisations in the Islands who understood why accepting every member of your workforce and client-base for who they are is the right thing to do.

We were delighted that we were proved right and that they came forward so we could celebrate their achievements.

It was not an easy job to judge the awards. The range of work being undertaken by organisations large and small to embrace equality and diversity is impressive and sets the bar high for other organisations that may not be as advanced in their inclusion strategies.

In 2016, all nominations made the final cut. Had there been a lot more nominees Liberate would have done an initial cut to create a shortlist. However, this was not necessary and we passed all the nominations on to the independent judging panel.

csfk9xywiaabuvb-jpg-largeWe owe a huge debt of thanks to Channel Television, especially to Karen Rankine, Hannah Bechelet, Lydia Hamilton and Christopher Hesketh who agreed to allow us to use their already formed Diversity Panel as our judging panel for the awards. Thank you also to panel members who gave their time to read the nominations and make the very difficult decision as to who should receive the award in each category. The judging was incredibly tight and it came down to one or two tiny factors in determining the winners.

The award presented to the winners was a crystal prism. The style of award was chosen deliberately for its refractive properties. Placing the award on a window sill in a patch of sunshine will result in a room full of rainbows – the international symbol that  represents the diverse, beautiful and colourful nature of human life.

An awards evening does not happen without help and support. The Liberate Committees of Guernsey and Jersey would like to thank the Pomme d’Or for their support and sponsorship. We would like to thank our corporate sponsors – Barclays, ASL Executive Services, Close Finance (CI) Limited and RBC Wealth Management – we really could not have done this without them. We would like to thank those who nominated organisations and those who were nominees – the evening was all about the amazing work they are doing. Finally, we would like to thank all our guests for attending the evening and making the inaugural Channel Islands Equality & Diversity Awards a very special night.

The awards were hosted by and a keynote speech was made by Rebecca Root, star of the BBC2 sitcom Boy Meets Girl. As an advocate for equality and diversity, we couldn’t have asked for a better host for our first awards ceremony and we are hugely grateful that Rebecca accepted our invitation.

Awards presented

Best small to medium employer

img_4746Presented by Simon Phillips from Barclays

Nominees:
Funky Pigeon
Law At Work (Channel Islands) Limited

Winner: Law At Work

Best medium to large employerimg_4756

Presented by Edith Coleman from ASL Executive Services

Nominees:
C5 Alliance
Lloyds Bank
RBC Wealth Management International

Winner: RBC Wealth Management International

Best service providerimg_4761

Presented by Simon Phillips from Barclays

Nominees:
Dandy
HVC Limited
Magic Touch

Winner: Dandy

Best educational initiativeimg_4770

Presented by Ruth Martin from Close Finance

Nominees:
Law At Work (Channel Islands) Limited
Lloyds Bank
Wet Wheels Jersey

Winner: Lloyds Bank

Best not-for-profit support initiativeimg_4777

Presented by Tim Houghton from RBC Wealth Management International

Nominees:
Autism Jersey
Barnardo’s Guernsey
Les Amis
Wet Wheels Jersey

Winner: Barnardos

The final two awards are in the gift of the Liberate committee.

img_4780The first is the Liberate Special Award. This is given to an individual or organisation that has undertaken an extraordinary project, activity or initiative in the last 12 months that has supported or advanced equality and diversity within the Channel Islands.

The first recipient of the Liberate Special Award was Social Security, States of Jersey, in recognition of their ongoing work to implement sections of the Discrimination Law – a significant piece of legislation that not only gives protection to those who might be discriminated against but also enables conversations about prejudice, phobia and intolerance to take place in organisations, which ultimately leads to changes in those attitudes.

img_4791The second award is the Liberate Lifetime Achievement Award. This is given to an individual that has, over many years, supported and championed equality and diversity within the Channel Islands and, as a result of their efforts, the Channel Islands are a more inclusive place to live and work.

Senator Sarah Ferguson, who has known the recipient of this award for a number of years and works very closely with her as a Trustee of Age Concern Jersey, gave a short speech honouring the recipient, Daphne Minihane MBE DSG. Daphne was honoured for her work in the 1980s with the Jersey AIDS Relief Group and her work with Age Concern Jersey.

The evening closed with Laydee and the Amp taking to the stage.

Pride 2016

Saturday

guernseyThe Channel Islands first ever pan-island Pride started in Guernsey on Saturday 10 September 2016. Despite heavy rain, Guernsey’s population turned out to parade from Candie Gardens through St Peter Port to Market Square for an evening of entertainment on the Pride stage. It was estimated that over 2,000 people attended Guernsey’s first ever Pride parade. A 50m rainbow street flag, crowd-funded by Channel Islanders, was carried by the walkers from start to finish.

Monday and Tuesday

educatecelebrate-smOn Monday 12 September in Guernsey and on Tuesday 13 September in Jersey, the islands played host to Elly Barnes from the charity Educate & Celebrate. Elly delivered a workshop in both islands teaching teachers and those who work with young people about equality and diversity in the classroom. Both workshops were well attended with over 40 participants in both islands. Liberate Jersey’s aim in 2016 was to get one person trained up in each secondary school to be able to offer support to an LGBTQ youngster. This workshop helped Liberate to hit that target.

Wednesday

flag-dropThe Pride baton was then passed to Jersey in some style on Wednesday 14 September 2016 as a rainbow flag was transferred in mid-air between two skydivers high over the islands. With the help of Skydive Jersey the rainbow flag was handed over and parachuted into St Aubin’s Bay. Three members of the Liberate committee – Lee McConnell, Ashley Morris and Paddy Haversham-Quaid – were sponsored for Pride to make the jump. Due to poor conditions, only Lee managed to jump on the Wednesday of Pride week with the flag. Ashley and Paddy completed their challenge later.

Thursday

double-billThursday 15 September 2016 was film night with two films on the bill at Rojos, Any Day Now and And Then Came Lola. Liberate were very grateful to Cinestef for their support in making the night happen. The audience numbers were small for the event, largely due to the poor weather on the night.

Friday

12010615_168564363480059_9010874375471256466_oDuring the summer, ASL Executive Services had partnered with Liberate to ask LGBTQ islanders of their experiences in the workplace. It is the first survey of its kind to be undertaken in the islands and the results proved interesting. Announced at a breakfast briefing on Friday 16 September 2016 the results of the survey show that Channel Islands’ workplaces have some way to go to make LGBTQ people feel as respected and included as their non-LGBTQ colleagues.

csfk9xywiaabuvb-jpg-largeIn contrast, Friday evening saw the Channel Islands’ first ever Equality & Diversity Awards presented by Liberate to those organisations and individuals who put inclusion at the heart of what they do. The awards were presented by Rebecca Root, star of the BBC2 sitcom Boy Meets Girl, and an equality campaigner. Awards were presented in seven categories with the special award going to Social Security for their work on the Discrimination (Jersey) Law and the lifetime achievement award going to Daphne Minihane for her work with Age Concern and the Jersey AIDS Relief Group in the 1980s. The awards were judged by ITV Channel’s independent diversity panel.

Saturday

14333123_336780159991811_403255045168201009_nPride week closed on Saturday 17 September 2016 with Jersey’s Pride parade through the streets of St Helier. The day started with an “awakening” dance workshop at the Havana Club. Then, the parade started from West’s Centre at 12.45pm.

At Weighbridge Square, a welcome speech was made by Christian May, Liberate’s Chairman, and then the Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Andrew Green, raised the rainbow flag and Rebecca Root raised the trans flag over Weighbridge Square.

14370338_10154549982119993_1979322604400311184_nWith the flags stating that Liberate was in residence for the afternoon, the entertainment got under way with Paula Randell giving the Jersey audience her Dolly Parton tribute impersonation. She was followed by various local artists including students from Be Vocal and Ladie and the Amp, who got the square rocking. Finally, Pridegoers were treated to a fabulous set from Sonia, the 1980s pop icon.

Unlike Guernsey a week earlier, the weather stayed warm and dry, which encouraged over 5,000 islanders to join the parade and state that they were #unitedthroughpride – our theme for the year.

CI Pride Logo 2016 United Friends FINALAt Liberate, because we are part of the global LGBTQ community, we know that the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey have more in common than they have differences and that is why we celebrated Channel Islands Pride in 2016. Working together, where possible, to avoid duplication of resources and sharing ideas to reach solutions quicker, helps us, as a pan-island charity, to serve our respective communities better.

In 2016 – a year that saw nationalistic rhetoric about the benefits of standing alone – Liberate was proud that it could say: the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey really were #unitedthroughpride

Thank you

Finally, Liberate would like to say a huge thank you to The Channel Islands Co-Operative Society for being leading sponsor for the second year running and Citi for also being a major sponsor of Pride 2016; G4S, Mantra Brand House, Magic Touch and Ce Soir for their sponsorship; and, Havana, Rojo, The Royal Yacht, The Pomme d’Or, Cinestef and Skydive Jersey for their support. Liberate would also like to thank all those who gave their time and effort to volunteer to make Pride week such a huge success. We could not have done it without you!

Pride week media round-up

Here’s a round-up of all the Pride week media, press and photographs.

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Buzzfeed – same sex marriage passed in Guernsey

JEP – equality and diversity supplement

Monday 19 September 2016

JEP – Jersey Pride and online

Channel TV – generosity of Pride-goers

Sunday 18 September 2016

JEP – Jersey Pride

Saturday 17 September 2016

BBC Radio Jersey – Pride in the streets

BBC Radio Jersey – Pride reaches the Weighbridge

BBC Radio Jersey – Pride speeches

Liberate – Jersey Pride photos

Liberate – Sonia at Jersey Pride

Channel TV – Jersey Pride round-up

Channel TV – Jersey Pride photos

Channel TV – Jersey Pride parade

Channel 103 – CI Equality & Diversity Awards

Friday 16 September 2016

Liberate – official photos of CI Equality & Diversity Awards

JEP – Jersey Pride police car

ASL Executive Services – LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace survey results

Channel TV – David’s story

Thursday 15 September 2016

JEP – Pride flag drop

Channel TV – Jersey Pride police car

Wednesday 14 September 2016

BBC Radio Jersey – Pride flag drop

BBC CI News – Pride flag drop

Tuesday 11 September 2016

Channel 103 – Guernsey Pride

Island FM – Guernsey Pride

Monday 12 September 2016

Channel TV – Guernsey Pride photos

Saturday 10 September 2016

Focus Photography – Guernsey Pride

Island FM – Guernsey Pride opens week

BBC – Guernsey Pride opens week

Channel TV – Guernsey Pride round-up

Channel TV – support for Guernsey Pride

Channel TV – Guernsey Pride parade

Friday 9 September 2016

Channel TV – CI Pride preview

Friday 2 September 2016

Channel TV – CI Pride and the rainbow flag

Jersey Evening Post 6 May 2016

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Jersey Evening Post article about arrangements for Pride 2016 and sponsorship required.

Scavenger Hunt photos

12322881_774201999380687_4585148432439692841_o12885943_774251289375758_5336697224974470474_o12670804_774269132707307_2935366058266304508_n12512760_774300132704207_647431623129855572_n

Easter Scavenger Hunt

Easter Scavenger Hunt

Saturday 26 March 2016

Mount Bingham car park at 1.15pm

26mar2016

12 Parishes, 12 Clues, 1 Giant Bunny

Join us for a day of FUN and EGGcitement

Register here, hop along to Mount Bingham Car Park, collect the clues

Scavenge the 12 Parishes to find the hidden eggs and take a team selfie – for extra points find the giant Easter bunny

PRIZES and raffle at the finishing line

All this whilst helping us to raise funds for Liberate’s 2016 education objectives!!

 

FAQs

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Yes, please bring your printed ticket with you.

What should I bring to the event?

Do bring your car, a digital camera or mobile phone with camera, and a minimum of 2 persons per team.

Are refreshments included in the ticket price?

No, but the hunt ends at The Portelet Inn where you can join us for food and drinks afterwards.