LGBT campaigners say Gib gay marriage referendum would be ‘smack in the face’

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THERE’S been anger in Gibraltar at the news that the government may put the question of marriage equality to a referendum, rather than making the change in the law part of the Alliance party’s manifesto, as was the case with civil partnerships on the rock.
While the referendum on the question was big news in Ireland recently, in most other countries where gay marriage has been legalised it has been brought in by governments and law makers.
Speaking on the GBC programme Direct Democracy, Chief Minister Fabien Picardo would not rule out putting the matter to a referendum.
The chairperson of the Equality Rights Group (ERG), Felix Alvarez, said that the possibility was a “hard smack in the face” for many LGBT people. “No other sector in this community has ever been singled out for the rest to ponder whether they are worthy enough or deserve to be considered and treated as equals, or not,” said Alvarez. He added that referendums should be reserved for questions of sovereignty or other “matters of high constitutional concern.”
People were “incensed,” said Alvarez, and as such ERG has convened an extraordinary meeting in the midst of its summer break to discuss how to proceed.
But he was “hopeful,” he said, that “after due consideration he [the Chief Minister], the ministerial team, and the GSLP/Liberal Alliance will stand by the LGBT community on this matter, as indeed has been the case before, by committing to one civil marriage law for all in their upcoming manifesto and without intervening plebiscites.”

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