GIBRALTAR: Same-Sex Marriage Approved Unanimously

From the Equal Rights Group of Gibraltar:

Today is a happy and long-awaited day for many in Gibraltar. And Equality Rights Group extends a big thanks to all the LGBTI community and also to the very special people who have fought unfailingly alongside us. They are friends of Justice who, despite not being directly affected, have stayed by us in changing the world around us little by little. They have all meant a great deal to us. And we count on them to continue working with us as we progress in human and civil rights for all in this community. There is still much to do, and we will achieve it together, because it’s not the Law that changes people – it’s the People that change the Law! And we have proven that to be a poignant truth today!

There is concern among some members of the community regarding a Conscience Clause in the Bill which will allow Deputy Registrars who may have religious objections regarding same-sex marriage to be able to opt out of their employment duties. Government will be required, however, to provide a replacement celebrant. We understand the concern and the principle in question, the implications of which reach much beyond LGBT marriage.

Nonetheless, ERG will keep a very close eye on the practical working of this provision. We will monitor the day-to-day functioning of this part of the Bill and, should it be enforced, we will take the necessary actions in due course and based on evidence. But on days like today, when Gibraltar, despite its differences, puts them aside and shows it cares, it is impossible not to feel immense pride in our country and our people. Let us continue learning to live in peace and co-existence, side by side. Let us respect each other.”

Gibraltar, population 30,000, is one of 14 British Overseas Territories and is the fourth to legalize same-sex marriage. Montserrat and the Turks And Caicos have constitutional bans still in place.

(Tipped by JMG reader Luis)

  • Irishsupporter

    Shows how the world is change slowly but surely

    The bigots are loosing and people want equal rights for all!!

  • David Walker

    Yes! Congratulations all!

    • Adam King

      Hi David! Hope you’re doing better.

      • David Walker

        I am, thank you. Although I still expect Jack to walk up to the desk for hugs and kisses, I think the “minor stroke” things are gone. I seem to be able to type and think at the same time, which is good. I leave the LGBT Center tomorrow and, while I have no plans now, I’ll see what that brings. I’d hoped that the equality bill would get attention this fall, but that’s not happening. I was intending to make a noise or two about that. One keeps on going because not doing anything is boring.

        • Emilygbrister1

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  • Rex

    Going to the big rock and we’re gonna get ma-a-a-ried.

  • bkmn

    Well done Gibraltar!

  • Robincho

    Yo, Gibraltar… you ROCK!…

    • EweTaw

      Well, it basically is just a big rock. So, there’s that.

  • Luis De California

    Anyone up for destination weddings? British Antarctic Territory also recently approved their own bill to allow the purchase of marriage licenses and for ceremonies to be held there.

    “God Hates Penguins!” – WBC

    • Halloween Theme Wedding Idea: in a BAT facility, with wedding party members dressed as their favorite iteration of the creature in Carpenter’s version of “The Thing.”

      • TuuxKabin

        A Halloween Wedding Chapel.


      • ChrisMorley

        Perhaps not at this one –
        Millions of cockroaches feeds on a mountain of bat guano in Deer Cave, Borneo.

  • crewman

    As someone who is not a citizen, I can say that as every country, territory, and region around the world takes steps to treat LGBT as equal human beings, the better the rights are for all humanity. Thank you Gibraltar!

  • EweTaw

    Won’y someone please think about the monkees!

  • Stubenville

    Congratulations to all the beautiful brides and handsome grooms.

  • AW

    Welcome to the fold Gibraltar!

  • arg, i hate being ignorant. i really don’t understand how these “overseas” british holdings work, in terms of gov’t. just how autonomous are they? do the territories that don’t have marriage equality not have to recognize unions from other places that do?

    but anyway, yeah Gibraltar! maybe i’ll get to visit there someday. i’ll spend lots of money when i do, i promise. 😉

    • Luis De California

      They’re under the protection of UK so if anyone messed with them there would be trouble, but as home laws go they can almost always do what they want, so recognition of unions depends on the territory.

    • Robert Pierce

      They’re dependent territories with their own legislatures and laws. UK is only responsible for defence.

    • Exo

      Overseas territories with a population (a few like the British Indian Ocean Territory, or British Antarctic territory are unihabited with no government) are almost entirely self ruling.
      The UK government only deals with foreign policy and defence. Gibraltar’s government is responsible for every other policy area, including marriage laws.

    • tldr

      In principle the UK government has complete control over them, in practice they are generally allowed to do whatever they want except that the UK controls their defense and foreign relations. They don’t have any representation in the UK government, but then they all have really tiny populations.

      Gibraltar is honestly not the most interesting place to visit, especially when there are so many cool places in the surrounding region of Spain.

    • pch1013

      Spain is always trying to get it back, while conveniently forgetting that it has several non-contiguous territories of its own in nearby Africa (Ceuta, Melilla, and a couple of smaller specks and offshore islands).

      • GanymedeRenard

        Just for the record, Ceuta and Melilla are two autonomous Spanish cities; they’re neither a protectorate nor an overseas territory or merely part of Spain. They are Spain, if that makes sense. 🙂

    • ChrisMorley

      Recognition of same-sex unions in the British Overseas Territories

    • StillALiberal

      The nature of how these Overseas Territories work vary from territory to territory. The larger ones like Gibraltar and Bermuda are very self-governing with only defense and foreign policy a UK responsibility, the smallest have something like local government-type powers with the UK doing most of the heavy lifting with governing. With others somewhere inbetween. The UK Government operates a sliding scale of autonomy depending on how much the territory can handle by itself. For example, marriage equality in the Pitcairn Islands was by executive decision by a UK appointed Governor, in Gibraltar they made the decision by themselves.

  • AW

    O/T: Holy shit… we have to oust all these republicans, they are awful and dangerous!

    • Blake Jordan

      Surely that will not hold up when challenge through the federal courts, up to the SCOTUS???

      • Bluto

        Depends on who is elected president & selects our next few Supreme Justices.

    • Bruno

      I think we’ve been through this dance before with the Rethugs. I don’t think it’ll get the support it needs to pass in the Senate, but we’ll see.

      • AW

        I hope so…

      • Herald

        It is now in negotiation phase since the Senate rejected it. It will likely be decided in the lame duck session. Reportedly Obama has vowed to veto it.

    • Herald

      The down ticket races are VITAL. I am very thankful to the outspoken Democrats. The Repubs are still up to their shady, middle of the night shenanigans.
      From the article:
      Senate Democrats are urging their Republican colleagues to dump a controversial “religious liberty” provision as they draft a final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), warning that such an amendment to the defense policy bill could open the floodgates to widespread employment discrimination based on religion, gender and sexual orientation. …
      The amendment was added to the House version of the NDAA in the middle of the night and passed through the House without a hearing. However, the amendment was not included in the Senate versions of the bill. …
      “The bill was never fully vetted by the House, as it was passed at night without a hearing. We would think that folks in the majority would know, as was the case in North Carolina, Indiana and Mississippi, that this is not how to pass a controversial bill,” he added, referencing the backlash that similar bills, such as North Carolina’s HB2, faced

  • lymis

    I have fond memories of Gibraltar from my Navy days. That was before the borders opened and everything had to come and go by sea or airlift (though people could come and go into Spain, but couldn’t bring vehicles, so it was all foot traffic.

    Decidedly quirky place.

    My favorite thing on the tour was the sign we passed on the way up to the top of the rock, and we all laughed because it looked like an international graphic for “Danger, watch out for falling cars!” And then, it turned out that it’s exactly what it was – because cars were so expensive to ship in, nobody paid to ship dead ones out, and there was a double-gated ramp over the side of the cliff with appropriately British instructions on who to contact and what forms to fill out to get the gates unlocked so you could roll your car off the cliff.

    And no discussion of Gibraltar is complete without a discussion of their monkeys, technically, Barbary macaques. They are absolutely fearless and will climb up your body and sit on your head in a heartbeat, especially if you have any food, or anything they think might be food, or just if they’re bored. It helps that they’re adorable, but it’s still a shock to suddenly have a monkey climbing you.

    • Footnote on the macaques: Macaques are indigenous to Asia, occurring from India through China and Japan, Indochina, and into the islands as far as the Philippines. The Gibraltar population is a real outlier — no macaques between there and India.

      • clay

        Is it true they’re the only (other) primate (surviving) that’s native to Europe?

        • Got me — there’s one extinct species known from Egypt and one extinct species known from Sardinia. Given their adaptability, it seems strange that they would originate in Europe and then disappear. Not unheard of — for example, horses, hyenas and camels, all of which originated in North America and went extinct there — but strange.

        • ChrisMorley

          All Gibraltar Barbary macaques are descended from North African populations of Barbary macaques. DNA evidence has established beyond doubt the present population is of relatively recent Algerian and Moroccan origin. No traces were found of a third source for their DNA, namely of any now-extinct ancient Iberian population. An earlier theory, now disproven by the DNA evidence, was that the
          original Gibraltar macaques were a remnant of populations that had spread throughout Southern Europe during the Pliocene, up to 5.5 million years ago.

    • Danieruw

      Sounds like the Japanese macaques on Miyajima Island near Hiroshima. I still have vivid memories of one digging through my grandfather’s camera bag one of the times we visited. I was 10.

  • Blake Jordan

    How about they opt out of their tax payer paid jobs entirely, since they are unwilling to perform their full job for every member of the public!!!

  • Lazycrockett
    • Dreaming Vertebrate


    • PickyPecker
    • Todd20036

      Also shows the number of Terps for Trump if they couldn’t scrounge up 2 grand.

      • Robincho

        Shirley you can’t expect all 4 of them to be sitting on $500 EACH at the same time…

        • abel

          Well, they ARE, actually, but first they have to get out and sell it. Maybe no real commitment there?

    • Bruno

      The sheer number of pictures of underage boys needed to hang on the walls of the venue would have been cost ineffective.

    • PickyPecker

      UMD Diamondback (student news) Milo Yiannopoulos on canceled Terps for Trump event: UMD is “going to suffer for it”

      • JT

        Deport the deplorable alien.

    • Silver Badger

      Don’t you just hate it when that free market sticks it’t nose in things?

    • Acronym Jim

      Terps for Trump? More like Derps for Drumpf.

  • Todd20036

    And the world didn’t end.
    Funny how the haters had nothing.

  • Gustav2
  • Silver_Witch

    YEAH and hooray!! Soon the WORLD!!

  • Randolph Finder

    Does anyone have any information on when this goes into effect? I doubt there will be as large of a gap as Finland, but…

  • JT

    GIBRALTAR: Same-Sex Marriage Approved Unanimously

    Good to see that they have the stones others lack.

    • Hank

      Especially the Australian Governments!!!

  • Great news. A big thanks to everyone who worked for this and best wishes to everyone who now has the freedom to marry. This has been shown again and again to be nothing but a good thing for marriage and family, nations that put this off should look to those who move this forward as an example.

  • Robincho

    In Gibraltar teh gay would be handy, since they’ve already called dibs on teh strait…

  • Paula

    Now, all they need to do is put a humongous rainbow flag on top of the rock so Russian and Middle Eastern flagged ships can see it when going in and out of the Med.

  • A striking contrast when same sex marriage moves forward unanimously here while over in Australia Politics get in the way of even letting the matter come up for a vote in Parliament. If approached in a sensible and evidence based manner this would be unanimous everywhere.

    • The House of Representatives passed the enabling act for the plebiscite a couple of days ago. It now goes to the Senate where Labor and the Greens have vowed to scuttle it.

      • Right becasue the plebiscite is coming in just about the worst possible form possible. not binding, public money for anti-gay activists, and absurdity broad “religious exemptions”. Marriage equality should be getting a vote in Parliament not this anti-gay mess pretending to be a valid way forward for marriage equality.

        • Exactly, and that’s why the plebiscite is not going to be allowed through the Senate. To become law, an Act must be passed by both houses.

          • Hopefully after the next election Australia can finally have a PM who truly supports marriage equality and is committed to moving it forward. Or Malcolm Turnbull could do the right thing and allow a free vote but I will not hold my breath.

        • William

          What is the point of having a non-binding vote? The government would be better off having call in voting, at $1 dollar a vote. After deciding the whole gay marriage, they can call in to pick ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Most Likely to be Indicted for Bank Fraud’.

  • Rex

    Speaking of hard things, and O/T – someone destroyed Trump’s star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Why he has a star is beyond me. I’m sure they’ll blame Hillary.

  • bkmn
  • William

    Australia, see how easy it is?

    • unfortunately the coalition government is too busy being cowards and letting the far right dictate their policy on marriage in exchange for their support. If you have to sell your soul to the devil in order to be in power better to just not be in power.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Sounds awfully familiar

  • clay

    Cremation limitations, Lady Gaga, Marriage recognition in Gibraltar,
    I could have a day of this with no polls, no complaints, no spokespersons.

    • William

      You forgot to mention a foul mouthed old lady.

      • Herald

        She was a refreshing change from the trumpbots.

      • clay

        and RGB’s opera debut.

  • Gene Perry

    AS nations go, Gibraltar isn’t all that important … but even though its small it still sends a powerful message to its neighbors anf the rest of the Brit colonies … Congrats Gibraltar … well done!

  • GanymedeRenard

    Great! Congrats, Llanitos! (All eyes on you now, Northern Ireland.)

    And thanks, Luis, for keeping us updated!

  • JCF
  • Mike_Bernard

    Solid…solid like a rock!

    Fabulous! Congratulations, Gibraltar!

  • sword

    If a Registrar is blind…the government must provide a sighted person to verify the petitioners signatures. Same for religious bigots.