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Gibraltar Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of October 29, 2016) The parliament of Gibraltar has accepted a legislative initiative on same-sex marriage. In order to enter into force, the new law will have to be ratified by the British Queen – which is considered a purely formal act however.
The government had suggested the new law in August 2016. It plans almost complete equality with straight married couples, except for one detail: In case the marriage registrar has personal or religious feelings against such a marriage ceremony, he or she may ask to be represented by a colleague.
This video shows a rather long summary of the parliamentarian debate:
A large part of this debate was about the question whether a marriage registrar should be allowed to refuse his or her duty for personal reasons.
Evidently, the new law governs civil marriage for same-sex couples and does not talk about religious weddings. Priests an other religious officials are completely free to celebrate religious weddings between two men or two women or not.
It is not very clear at this time whether the civil partnership, introduced in 2014, will stay valid once the new law has come into effect.
Gibraltar is a British enclave in the very South of Spain. Counting 7 km2 in size and about 32,000 inhabitants, it has a special status and is the only British overseas territory to be an EU member. As more than 95% of the Gibraltarians have voted against the Brexit, this is not likely to change.