A couple from the Isle of Man are petitioning for a change in the law after they were refused an accommodation agreement on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Kira Izzard and Laura Cull from the Isle of Man’s capital, Douglas, said they were ‘shocked’ to discover there was no law in place to protect them from discrimination based on sexuality.

The BBC is reporting that the couple have launched a petition calling for introduction of the UK’s Equality Act 2010.

The petition has gained the support of over 1000 people.

You can sign the petition here
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/equality-act-2010-on-the-isle-of-man.html

Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, Allan Bell MHK said:

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“I am extremely disappointed that this type of ugly, out-dated prejudice survives after all the work that has been done over the past 20 years or so to make the island a more tolerant place

“I do believe that our society today is generally much more tolerant than it used to be. But this incident shows that there are still isolated pockets of bigotry that can only be tackled through legislation.

“An Equality Bill, based on the UK Equality Act 2010, is already in the drafting process and will deal with discrimination of this kind. I have asked that preparation of this legislation be accelerated.

The Chief Minister concluded:

‘I have a clear message for those inside or outside the Isle of Man who still think this is an outpost of old-fashioned prejudice. This is a modern, caring, compassionate and inclusive society and we do not want to be associated with bigots who live in the past.’

Ms. Izzard and Ms Cull are planning to be civilly partnered later this year. The couple were told by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau that the landlord was acting within the law

Homosexuality was outlawed under Isle Of Man law until 1992. Civil Partnerships were legalised in April 2011. Same-sex couple are also legal able to adopt.