The Isle of Man parliament, known as 'Tynwald', is the oldest continuous
parliament in the world, in which democratically elected members,
The Keys, represent the people.
The Island is a Crown Dependancy, which means that although it
is free to make its own laws, the UK government is responsible ultimately
for its defence and good governance. This was highlighted some years
ago, when the Island's discriminatory anti-gay laws meant that gay
sex could attract a punishment of life imprisonment. In reality
this punishment would not have been carried out.
Something of a political storm broke out when the UK threatened
to change the Island's law, in order that it should not continue
to breach the European Convention on Human Rights. The Manx legislature
decided to comply, and changed the law, rather than risk the UK
The gay movement on the Island is happy to report that the political
powers that be have matured a little since then.They have adopted
a more politically correct framework, preparing at the moment to
embrace the latest European Human Rights laws.
The Island's low levels of income tax and company taxes, along
with other financial benefits, make it an attractive venue to individuals
and companies alike.