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Gibraltar passes same-sex marriage with unanimous support

Gibraltar passes same-sex marriage with unanimous support

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Gibraltar

Gibraltar has passed same-sex marriage in its government with unanimous cross-party support.

The British overseas territory voted on the Civil Marriage Amendment Bill and all 15 present members agreed to pass it into law.

This is a country of 30,000 people, just off the coast of Spain, where 80% of people are Roman Catholic.

Chief minister Fabian Picardo described it as a ‘landmark day for Gibraltar and this parliament’.

Similar to the UK, any church or priest who does not want to bless or perform a same-sex marriage will not be forced to do so.

A last-minute proposal also saw politicians vote on whether civil public servants should be able to decline to perform their duties and turn away a same-sex couple.

However, this amendment was defeated by 11 votes to four.

‘The definition of “‘Holy Matrimony”, a sacrament of the Catholic Church, or of the respective rites of marriage in the Jewish, Islamic or Hindu religions, is entirely unaffected,’ a Government statement read.

‘Nothing that is being proposed in this Bill has any bearing on the religious concept of marriage.’

Gay sex was made legal in 1993, with the age of consent not being equalized to 16 in 2012. Same-sex couples were allowed to adopt in April 2013, and civil partnerships have been available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples since March 2014.