Gibraltar’s Government Presents Same-sex Marriage Bill

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Gibraltar’s Government announced the introduction of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage today.

Originally planned to make its debut earlier this year, the Civil Marriage Amendment Act 2016 was delayed due to both the UK’s European Union referendum and the high volume of feedback during the consultation process.

With almost 3,500 answers submitted, the legislation is said to have received the largest number of public responses ever.

Despite stating that a conscience vote will be used in his center-left coalition, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo is optimistic that there is enough support within his Government to approve the law.

Picardo’s coalition controls 10 of the 17 seats of Parliament while the Opposition, whose leader also expressed his confidence that his party will vote in favor, controls the remaining seats and announced a conscience vote as well.

The marriage bill will allow couples in civil partnerships to convert their union to a marriage if they desire.

Currently, gender-neutral civil partnerships with full adoption rights exist in the territory since 2014.

The civil partnership bill, which was viewed as a milestone by locals, was approved 16-0 after the Supreme Court of Gibraltar ruled that same-sex couples must not be excluded from the adoption process.

The Mariage Act will be debated for the first time no earlier than six weeks after its publication as mandated by Gibraltar’s constitution.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in Gibraltar, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Gibraltar

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Gibraltar’s Opposition Voices Support For Gay Marriage Bill

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The leader of Gibraltar’s Opposition voiced his support for a gay marriage proposal and has stated his optimism that his fellow members would back the bill.

Daniel Feetham of the center-right Gibraltar Social Democrats made this statement during a New Year’s television broadcast. Feetham says he believes that extending marriage to same-sex couples strengthens the institution, and although every GSD member would be allowed a free vote, he claims all of them would be in favor.

The issue has become a hot topic since the leading center-left Gibraltar Social Labour Party-Liberal Party Alliance presented a command paper on changing the local marriage laws in December of 2015.

The public will be able to send in their thoughts until January 29 when the consultation phase closes. Several debates between religious leaders and LGBT activists have arisen with some clergy suggesting that a referendum on same-sex marriage be held, but Gibraltar’s Chief Minister reportedly shot down the notion during a Parliamentary Questions and Answers.

The results of the public consultation will be released in June of this year according to the GSLP-Liberal Alliance.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in Gibraltar, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Gibraltar