ALTHOUGH the main parties in Gibraltar appear to be in favour of the concept of same sex marriage and the government has called for a consultation document on the matter, the Chief Minister has made it clear that this is not an appropriate matter for a referendum.
This observation, which was made during a debate in Parliament, has resonated with more traditionalist inhabitants of Gibraltar and a combined statement has been issued by the Christian churches and Jewish community which it makes it clear that, whilst they are opposed, they “are not standing in judgement on those who do not adhere to a heterosexual lifestyle but believe that their rights are fully protected, and provided for, within the current ‘Civil Partnerships Act’.”
To this end therefore and quoting sources from religious publications and dictionary definitions, they have made their total opposition to same sex marriage very clear.
The Equality Rights Group which does support the concept, responded by issuing its own statement rejecting the opposition arguments and stating that it wanted to see a move away from “centuries of religious political correctness where to treat homosexuals as third class citizens was the order of the day.”
In a small society such as Gibraltar, where certain faiths have become more fundamentalist over the past few years, this is the sort of controversy which could cause considerable damage between differing sections of the community, whilst others probably take a more pragmatic view.