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Community urged to participate in debate on same sex marriage

Supporters on either side of the same sex marriage debate have reached out, individually, to members of the community and called on people to express their views on the Command Paper ahead of this Friday’s deadline.

A draft letter was circulated in many of Gibraltar’s churches over the weekend by a group of young people calling themselves ‘Gibraltar for Marriage’. The letter, which is addressed to Kevin Warwick who is heading up the Command Paper consultation, calls for a referendum on the issue.

The Group argues that by virtue of recent legislation all same sex couples registering under the Civil Partnership Act enjoy access to the same benefits and rights as heterosexual couples.

The letter states: “The suggested changes do not protect any members of society wanting to engage in a same sex union rather it attacks the rights and freedoms of those who oppose such a change to the definition of marriage.”

“These facts could not make the need for a referendum more abundantly clear and it is our view that such fundamental changes to our social conscience are matters for our adult citizens to be able to vote on.”

Meanwhile, the Equality Rights Group has reopened an online petition and has called on all its members, friends and supporters to sign it with a direct feed to Government’s Command Paper offices.

The ERG said: “The Petition was initially started by supporter Ivan Hernandez last summer, and has been reopened in view of the growing interest in and demand for the issue.”

“In today’s world of new technologies, more and more people prefer online means to solve their needs. The Command Paper consultation stage closes this coming Friday, 29 January.”

“We therefore urge everyone who wants to make their voice heard in favour of One Civil Marriage Law For All to go to the petition website. The easiest way to do this is by going to Facebook, going to the Equality Rights Group GGR page, and you will find a direct link which will guide you all the way to completion.”