ERG welcomes full Civil Marriage ‘at last’

In a statement today, Equality Rights Group has welcomed notification that the Chief Minister has now signed the necessary documentation giving effect to provisions in section 40 of the Civil Marriage Amendment Act 2016. ‘This was a special phone call from No. 6, and one that meant a great deal to us and to many people out there in the community of Gibraltar,’ Chairman Felix Alvarez explained.

‘This was the law that opened up civil marriage to everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. And section 40 made it possible for those who had previously entered into Civil Partnership to convert their union to full Civil Marriage.

‘The problem was that the law was passed in December 2016, and those provisions were still not in force, causing sadness and frustration to couples for whom full civil marriage was a matter of serious emotional significance ‘ Alvarez added.

‘This wasn’t just any law, after all. It wasn’t just a long series of words. This was an important moment in the dignity and full open social participation of many citizens of our Community. It was inevitably charged with a level of strong feeling that they, their families and friends understood only too well.

‘Today, therefore, we warmly welcome the news that the waiting period is over, and that the Chief Minister has worked towards fulfilling this closure. We look forward now to the doors of the Civil Status and Registration Office being fully open and fully amenable to the requirements now in force.

‘ERG assures the public that it will continue to work in the assiduous defence of fundamental human and civil rights across all sectors. Change may sometimes come quickly,  and at other times frustratingly slowly,  but determination and consistency always win the day when justice lies at the core.’