Vic Tanner Davy, chief executive of Liberate, said the equality charity opposed the tolerance clause and that all Islanders should respect opposing beliefs and views.
After a lengthy debate, Members approved the changes to the marriage law by 43 votes to one, with one abstention. A controversial tolerance clause, which would have allowed professionals and businesses to opt out of providing services for same-sex weddings on religious grounds, was overwhelmingly rejected.
Equality charity Liberate criticised the clause and started a petition calling on Members to reject it which attracted thousands of signatures.
The approval of same-sex marriages, which still requires ratfication from the Privy Council, will mean the first same-sex weddings could take place in Jersey in spring.
Mr Tanner Davy said: ‘Liberate does not want to see anybody taken to tribunal for their genuinely held religious beliefs. Our concern when the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel lodged the amendment containing the tolerance clause was that it was unworkable in practice and would be highly divisive, resulting in more, not fewer, tribunal cases.
‘We would much prefer to see an island where differing beliefs are accepted and respected – if we are kind to one another, nobody should ever end up in a tribunal.’
Meanwhile, Deputy Louise Doublet, who is a member of Humanists UK, said the law’s recognition of humanist weddings now put Jersey ahead of the UK and could lead to a boost for tourism from couples. Scotland and Ireland have already approved humanist weddings. Deputy Doublet said: ‘This is fantastic news for Jersey and I am so grateful to Humanists UK for supporting me in campaigning for this.
‘The changes that allow same-sex marriage have always been the most significant aspect of this legislation – but as a bonus, Jersey is also now ahead of England in offering marriage equality to those with non-religious beliefs such as humanism. I am expecting to see a surge in numbers of humanist weddings on the Island, and am hopeful that local businesses will benefit, as couples will be keen to travel from England and elsewhere to have a legally recognised wedding.’