The TUC trade union has written to Jersey’s chief minister to ask him to support the introduction of equal marriage on the island.

In the letter to Ian Gorst, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady says that gay marriage has proved a popular move, both among MPs in Westminster and the wider public, and shows just how far attitudes towards LGBT people have changed in recent years.

However, same-sex couples are currently denied the right to marry in Jersey, Guernsey and Northern Ireland.

The TUC, which has long campaigned for equal rights for all UK residents has recently helped set up Liberate, a community pressure group lobbying for LGBT equality across the Channel Islands. The letter from the TUC urges the island’s government to support a pro-equal marriage petition that has been lodged by one of the deputies in the States of Jersey (the island’s parliament).

O’Grady added: ‘Not everyone wants to get married, but those who do should be able to – their sexuality shouldn’t be a barrier.

‘Same-sex couples on Jersey are keen for the same rights that LGBT couples have in England and Wales, and will soon have in Scotland. It makes no sense for them to be denied the opportunity to tie the knot if they are keen to marry. I hope that Jersey soon changes its laws to allow same-sex weddings.’