BREAKING NEWS: there will be NO Referendum to decide same-sex marriage!
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, in discussions today in Parliament on ERG’s Campaign for One Civil Marriage Law for All, confirmed that there will NOT be a Referendum to decide the matter. A campaign for a decision by Referendum had been mounted by those opposing one civil marriage law for all.
In its recent Manifesto for the 2015 Elections, at which Government obtained a landslide majority, the GSLP/Liberal Alliance had committed to holding consultations on the issue in a process known as a Command Paper. The deadline for the process was originally set for 15 January 2016, but a storm of concern erupted when Government announced an extension to 29 January instead.
In statements to television news programmes at the time, the ERG Chairman welcomed the extension, arguing that the greater the participation of the electorate at consultation stage, the better. Nonetheless, ERG has steadfastly argued against the idea of the LGBT community being singled out for a Referendum to have its fundamental right to non-discrimination decided by others. Referendums in Gibraltar so far have only ever been applied to matters of high Consitutional concern, such as the issue of Sovereignty. No other sector has ever been ‘Referendumed-about’.
ERG therefore warmly welcomes the Government of Gibraltar’s decision on this issue, and looks forward to the earliest implementation of the Bill to amend the Marriage Act to thus create One Civil Marriage Law For All without bias for gender or sexual orientation.