This week, the Gibraltar Parliament made history. It passed a Civil Partnerships Bill which extends to all couples the right to enter a civil partnership. It is not limited to same-sex couples as currently in the United Kingdom. Any couple may register as civil partners, provided of course that neither party is already either married or in a civil partnership.

Earlier this evening, I posted the following on Facebook:

It looks like Andrew and I are moving to Gibraltar at just the right time. Well done to the Gibraltar Parliament for passing this legislation which goes even further than that in force in any part of the United Kingdom. That is civil partnerships for male–male, female–female, and male–female relationships.

As someone who has lobbied the UK Government on LGB issues in the past, most memorably on the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c. 43) (then a Bill), I know how difficult it can be to persuade a Government that what you are saying is right. I congratulate Equality Rights Gibraltar on its campaign and the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and the members of the Parliament who voted to pass the Bill.

According to the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation, the Bill was passed nemcon., but Sir Peter Caruana, KCMG, QCleft the chamber shortly before the vote. Whether Sir Peter was avoiding the vote so as not to vote against or not is a matter for him, but perhaps it is a bit like what happened in the Northern Ireland when its Assembly voted on a motion calling for the next step of Equal Marriage: some MLAs were absent or “didn’t vote” against the motion. Of course the Motion there was doomed to failure thanks to the “petition of concern” placed on it by the Democratic Unionist Party. Thank goodness that Gibraltar doesn’t have this.

read the rest of the article on Gibraltar Notebook.

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