Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Thursday, October 25, 2007

GGR welcomes debate on age of consent

Equality Rights Group GGR has today welcomed a call to open debate on the issue of age of consent made by Charles Gomez (NGD), an independent contender to recent Elections who obtained 1% of the votes.

“Indeed, as everyone knows, GGR has been openly talking of this issue for the past 7 years,” the group said.

“But why did Mr Gomez deprive voters of open debate regarding his policies on these long-standing issues by maintaining a studied silence on them? Especially when he acknowledges the issues are not simple and require debate,” the group asks.

“He did this not only during his Election campaign, but also we have no recollection of him ever having raised these issues in the very ample time since the start of his party. Indeed anyone can see that Mr Gomez’s Election Manifesto made zero mention of these issues.

“This is hardly consistent with the transparent, democratic approach Mr Gomez was keen to sell voters.

“It is peculiar that, in contrast to GGR’s years-long open advocacy for legislation to protect children against abuse, Mr Gomez did not join forces on such a public demand at the time of the 3,000 strong signature petition organised by GGR. It is equally surprising that he himself did not independently raise the matter or present options for the electorate to approve.

“Given the facts, we and the people of Gibraltar may be forgiven for having been left in some doubt as to Mr Gomez’s sudden public concern, since the issues of age of consent and protection of children have formed part of GGR’s public campaigns for many years now.

“On the substantive points, however, we take responsibility for our statements and noone else’s. This group has on multiple occasions made its position abundantly and publicly clear: we do not advocate a specific level of age of consent, simply that equality be applied in compliance with international human rights law.

“We believe that position on our part to be respectful with the public’s right to choose whilst defending the rights of minorities over the rule of the mob which we do not understand to be the basis for Democracy.

“GGR confides fully in the democratic process, and in the legal and rational foundation for Equality. There is no objective data to support the view – across any of the countries where age of consent Equality operates – that the collapse of Civilization is consequently imminent.

“Nonetheless, delicate issues of this sort deserve far more respect of the electorate, far more Reason, far more research, and far less irresponsible and opportunistic
scare-mongering. The answer is to deal justly and responsibly with two wholly distinct issues: that of protection of minors against abuse by criminals of any sexuality through appropriate legal means, and the eradication of injustice by eliminating inequalities in law.

“Let us have open debate by all means. But mixing up the two issues is either the product of regrettable ignorance, or of a deliberate attempt to cynically inflame and confuse the debate in order to politically exploit and take advantage in circumstances where the electorate has otherwise chosen not to be convinced,” the statement ended.

Monday, October 22, 2007

GGR and Cashman re-confirm Brown to look into age of consent issue

GGR confident no objective criterion for inequality in consent

In a brief press release today, Equality Rights Group GGR has welcomed further confirmation from Michael Cashman MEP that he did raise the question of age of consent with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as reported earlier by the group.

Chairman Felix Alvarez has welcomed the further direct clarification and, in particular, Mr Cashman’s assertion that the Prime Minister is taking direct action by looking into this matter.

“Given that Government has stated that this move by the Prime Minister is perfectly proper, it would appear that there is little to disagree about between us,” Mr Alvarez added.

“GGR continues to be confident that there is no reasonable and justifiable objective criterion for the continuation of inequality in the age of consent and looks forward to Government’s introduction of equalisation legislation.”

Meanwhile, the Office of Michael Cashman released the following statement:

Michael Cashman, MEP for West Midlands, recently elected MEP of the Year for Fundamental Rights and Justice, has confirmed details of his brief meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown in which he raised the issue of the unequal age of consent in Gibraltar.

Michael highlighted that the fact Gibraltar maintained a different age of consent for same-sex sexual relations (18) as opposed to 16 for heterosexual relations was likely to be incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights. The Strasbourg Court has on several occasions ruled against Member States who maintained such unequal age of consent as being in violation of the European convention.

"I unequivocally can confirm that I raised this with the Prime Minister and he said he would look into the matter, especially in relation to the European Convention of Human Rights."
Michael has reiterated his call that Gibraltar does what it can to review the existing law. He welcomed the Government's statement in which it would announce a decision on this matter following a study as to whether they found the law to be justifiable under objective and reasonable criteria. "I, for one, can think of no such arguments that would allow this unequal age of consent to remain," Michael added.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gibraltar government in denial over Gordon Brown's intervention

Alvarez regrets Govt’s ‘lack of consensual good faith’

“Following last week’s announcement by Michael Cashman MEP, Government’s recent statement on Downing Street’s agreement to intervene in the age of consent issue in Gibraltar is a sad case of psychological denial and desperate face-saving,” Equality Rights Group GGR stated today. It was reacting to a press statement by Government repudiating a report published by the group last week regarding announcements that Gordon Brown had determined to take action on the age of consent in Gibraltar.

“Given Mr Cashman’s clear public statement referring to the Prime Minister’s decision, perhaps Government should explain which part of the words “ensure that steps are taken to end this discriminatory practice” it does not yet understand.

“This is especially so given that Government itself acknowledges that Gordon Brown has pledged, in No 6’s own words, that “he would look into the matter”. Indeed, it is difficult to envisage a more direct action that could be taken by a British Prime Minister in the circumstances. However, if after 7 years of resistance and inaction on this matter, Mr Caruana now prefers to receive the applause for changing the law, we will have no problem in according to him the part that belongs to him when that happens,” the statement added.

“Instead of sitting round the table to talk, No. 6 is acting with a regrettable lack of consensual good faith. This style of politics cannot be good for our community,” Chairman Felix Alvarez added.

“Government are well enough advised by batteries of lawyers to know that what GGR has said in its statements last week relates to European Court case law and its effect on the obligations of signatory states. At no time has GGR spoken of age of consent being defined by Articles of the Convention which, as Government well knows, is framed broadly and interpreted in its detail by judges adjudicating on the bench of the European Court of Human Rights. This interpretation has been consistent in its condemnation of age of consent inequality in all the relevant case law since 1997. An inequality that, in fact, Mr Caruana has failed to address for the past 7 years.

“Furthermore, the statements made by GGR to the Gibraltar media reflect the press release published by MEP Michael Cashman himself who stated that “The Prime Minister has agreed to take this matter up to ensure that steps are taken to end this discriminatory practice, the existence of which is incompatible with our obligations as an EU member and as a party under the European Convention”.

Mr Alvarez closed by saying that “This is not about ‘we win you lose’ on either side, but rather, about how we can jointly do the best for Gibraltar and all its citizens. If Mr Caruana wishes to pretend that any action now is in reality his own, then so be it. Our only interest is that this community begin to enjoy the equality and standards of rights it deserves. For the rest, people are well aware of the facts and can judge the truth for themselves. Let us look forward to change and not backward to bad feeling.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Age of consent breakthrough - Gordon Brown steps in

“Today, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged direct action to ensure the Government of Gibraltar equalises the age of consent. This comes after submissions recently made by GGR to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament,” Felix Alvarez, Chairman of Equality Rights Group GGR stated today.

“This is an opportune moment for Government and GGR to sit round the table and start a process of real dialogue towards progress for Gibraltar’s gay community. It is a good moment also for the new Justice Minister to play a role in reconciliation,” he added.

Mr Alvarez added that Equality Rights Group GGR is indebted to the support it has received from Patron Michael Cashman MEP for raising the matter directly with the British Prime Minister.

“In a recent press release, we predicted that the unacceptable situation of same-sex partners in Gibraltar would lead to intervention similar to that of 1993, when the British Government had to enforce European Convention provisions on the Rock as a result of moral and legal failure on the part of our own authorities,” Mr Alvarez continued.

“It is a shame for Gibraltar that, despite all the spin we hear from those in power, human rights progress comes only as a result of external pressure and obligations. But it is a particular shame because such backward thinking and recalcitrant attitudes do not accurately reflect the overwhelming support the majority of the people of Gibraltar today express on this matter. In 2007, Gibraltarians understand less and less why it is that prejudice and inequality in this area of social legislation should continue in our country,” Mr Alvarez added.

“Just one small proof of this particular pudding and of the growing support being received on this matter is the growing heterosexual support being received on Gibraltar-based internet pro-gay rights forums which have spontaneously established themselves."

“As Chairman of GGR I will not cry victory until change has actually been introduced. Today’s news, however, is without doubt a welcome breakthrough,” he added.

Taking the opportunity for the establishment of good relations with Government, Alvarez went on to say that “ Whilst this news may perhaps be a bitter pill for Mr Caruana to take, I once more stretch the hand of real and sincere dialogue with a real and sincere agenda for change on both sides in the hope that, on this occasion, and in contrast to the last time such dialogue was announced a few years back, a real commitment for effective and practical dialogue might be possible.

"If constructive attitudes on both sides are allowed to exist, I see no reason why bad feeling should continue to be the order of the day between GGR and Government,” Mr Alvarez ended.

16 OCTOBER 2007

"Cashman takes actions to tackle Gibraltarian discriminatory age of consent"

Michael Cashman, MEP for West Midlands, recently elected MEP of the Year for Fundamental Rights and Justice, met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown earlier today and raised the issue of the unequal age of consent still in place in Gibraltar . Indeed, the age of consent for heterosexual sexual relations is 16 whilst the age of consent for same-sex sexual relations is 18.
The unequal age of consent violates existing European conventions and human rights norms which consider unequal age of consent to be discrimination on the basis of sexual orientations.
"The issue had been raised by Gibraltar gay rights organisations in the past," Michael Cashman explained, "The Gibraltarian government has been given plenty of time to rectify the situation. It is unfortunate that this matter had to come to us for any action to be undertaken."

In his meeting with the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Michael highlighted the incompatibility of the law with existing human rights norms, "Gordon Brown immediately agreed wholeheartedly with my point of view on the matter," Michael stated, "The Prime Minister has agreed to take this matter up to ensure that steps are taken to end this discriminatory practice, the existence of which, is incompatible with our obligations as an EU member and as a party under the European Convention of Human Rights."

Michael applauded gay rights organisations working in Gibraltar , "It was their continued vigilance which allows us to take notice of this situation. I now hope that we sort this mess out and get rid of this discrimination built into the laws of Gibraltar ."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Family values - GGR agrees with the Catholic Bishop of Gibraltar

“Equality Rights Group GGR fully supports Bishop Caruana’s recent electoral statement regarding the importance of marriage and the family. The values of love and caring towards all Gibraltar’s children is, as the Bishop quite rightly points out, paramount to all of us whether Catholic or of any other religion or none.”

“GGR wishes to wholeheartedly support the Bishop’s call in defence of family values given both that we all have fathers and mothers and that the love we bear each other must never be forgotten.

“The pastoral mission we must all exercise towards each other must never be exclusive or sectarian and that, equally, should never be forgotten,” the statement ended.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Gibraltar Age of Consent to be taken to Gordon Brown directly by MEP Michael Cashman

Both the British and USA online gay press has taken up the issue of the unequal age of consent in Gibraltar, reporting both on GGR's submission to the Foreign Affairs Committee and on well-known MEP Michael Cashman's determination subsequently to raise the issue directly with the British Prime Minister (Cashman is pictured left with GGR Chairman Felix Alvarez). The below story is published today at the following link: http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/

Gay Age of Consent Equality: ‘We Have Given Gibraltarian Government Long Enough’

MEP Cashman to take matter to PM Brown

BRUSSELS, October 8, 2007 – A British Member of the European Parliament has pledged today to take the matter of equality of the age of consent in Gibraltar directly to the heart of Number 10 Downing Street.
“I will be raising the issue personally with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is a passionate supporter of equality,” Michael Cashman (PSE/UK Labour), the president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on gay and lesbian rights, said today.

“We have given the Gibraltarian government long enough - now is the time to change the laws.”
ILGA-Europe is also concerned that the Gibraltar authorities are reluctant to bring this overseas territory of Great Britain into line with the European human rights standards.
“The age of consent for homosexual acts is still 18 where the age of consent for heterosexual acts is 16,” a spokesperson for ILGA-Europe said this afternoon.

“This difference in age of consent is discriminatory and contradicts Article 8 (Respect to a private and family life) of the European Convention of Human Rights as repeatedly confirmed by the European Court of Human Rights.

“ILGA-Europe urges the Gibraltar – and the UK authorities – to immediately remedy this situation and equalise the age of consent for all consensual acts between adults in Gibraltar.”
Last night (October 7), Felix Alvarez, chairman of Equality Rights GGR, hit out at both the Gibraltar and UK governments for stalling of the issue of equality.

Mr. Alvarez revealed that Equality Rights GGR has made a formal submission to the Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry on the Overseas Territories of the British Parliament.
In Gibraltar, the age of consent for heterosexuals is 16, and 18 for homosexuals.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

GGR makes submission to British Parliament

“Caruana is passing the buck to Gordon Brown ”

The group says Caruana has an ‘over my dead body’ policy on same sex issues

“Mr Caruana’s failure to act is degrading the Gibraltar Constitution, and turning our highest law into a mere set of voluntary codes as far as human rights is concerned,” Felix Alvarez, Chairman of Equality Rights Group GGR has stated. The group has made a formal submission to the Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry on the Overseas Territories being held in the British Parliament.

Alvarez considers that “the Gibraltar and British Governments are particularly failing in their legal obligations regarding Gibraltarians’ human rights on the age of consent issue.

“By not implementing binding requirements of the European Convention of Human Rights on the age of consent, Mr Caruana is passing the buck to Gordon Brown. In the end, it will be the British Prime Minister who will have to do Mr Caruana’s work.

“The reality is that by refusing to directly exercise Convention duties, the Chief Minister is handing over human rights authority to the British government. This is exactly what happened in 1993 when Gibraltar failed to live up to the Convention and Britain stepped in to require decriminalisation of gay relations. The Chief Minister’s failure to act is inviting the same kind of intervention.

“The Foreign Affairs Committee parliamentary inquiry, however, centres on the British Government’s conduct. Under both the European Convention of Human Rights and obligations in the European Union, the British Government cannot wash its hands clean of Gibraltarian citizens’ human rights. They cannot just point to local constitutional provisions and leave it up to Caruana. The British government’s international law duty to apply human rights in Gibraltar is non-delegable and above any Constitutional arrangement,” Alvarez said.

“Peter Caruana’s track record would indicate he has no desire to implement
same-sex progress in Gibraltar law unless legally obliged. This ‘over my dead body’ policy, as far as sexual minorities are concerned, is behind the times and inconsistent with a modern Gibraltar. Equality Rights Group GGR will challenge government through the courts and by every legitimate means until institutionalized prejudice, inequality and intolerance regarding all forms of discrimination are history in our own land,” the statement ended.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Alvarez hits back at Minister for Social Affairs

“I have taken note of both the Social Services Agency and the T&G reactions,” said Equality Rights Group Chairman Felix Alvarez today (pictured left, courtesy VOX).
“Minister Del Agua and the Union refer to supposed allegations made by myself. They variously use the term ‘slander’ to describe my remarks following calls for a Public Inquiry into serious allegations of misconduct at the Dr Giraldi Home.

“At no point in time have any statements originating from myself claimed the concerns raised to be established fact. They therefore cannot constitute either allegation, libel or slander. They do, however, express a clear and open democratic concern for issues which in any society should alert each and every citizen to ask critical and vital questions.

“Stifling open questioning in our Society is not the answer. We must learn to react in a different manner if Gibraltar is to reach the standards of self-governance that we are all eager to reach. As Chairman of a human rights organisation in Gibraltar I will continue to raise issues requiring open airing, whether Mrs Del Agua or anyone else likes it or not.

“Minister Del Agua has accused me of conducting a political campaign at the expense of care workers. Let us hope, however, that what really worries Mrs Del Agua and her Party is not actually the cost of open dissent and criticism in a democratic Gibraltar.

“With regard to the T&G, I am gratified to read that the Union welcomes a public inquiry, a move which can only exonerate and do justice to all blameless Union members at the Home and will hopefully alleviate public concern. I fully understand the unpleasantness of the situation, and trust the matter will soon be rectified in everyone’s interests. As I have said before, the issues at root are likely to be systemic in nature and it is the politicians who must answer for delay and incompetence.

“It is a worrying symptom of the state of democracy in our society, however, when calls for public inquiry or investigation into serious issues are, instead of being quickly expedited, met with the almost knee-jerk and routine stoning of anyone who dares to raise their head above the parapet of indifference.

“Let it be clear: I shall continue doing what needs to be done to stand up for human and people’s rights in this community, and I am heartened to find that increasing numbers of Gibraltarians feel the same way too,” Alvarez ended.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Peter Tatchell reports on human rights findings in Gibraltar

Peter Tatchell (pictured left, courtesy Gibraltar Chronicle) today reported the findings of his week-long visit to the Rock before an audience of press and public alike:

“After having met and heard from a wide cross-section of Gibraltarian society,
it is apparent that Gibraltar fails a number of UK and EU human rights standards. Moreover, the victims of human rights abuses lack effective, swift mechanisms for the redress of grievances and are often silenced by a climate of intimidation and fear,” said British human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell.

“Many people I have met recalled instances of discrimination, harassment and other abuses. However, they all expressed their unwillingness to report officially or publicly discuss the human rights violations they had suffered, out of fear of retribution from state officials. Some said they feared losing their access to jobs, housing, welfare benefits, medical treatment, student places and educational awards and grants.

“Human rights shortcomings are damaging Gibraltar’s reputation internationally, which may discourage some investors and tourists. It could also undermine European support for Gibraltar’s right to self-determination. People are less likely to sympathise with Gibraltar’s right to determine its own future if it has a poor human rights record,” said Mr Tatchell.

He was speaking today at a press conference at John Mackintosh Hall in Gibraltar, hosted by the local equality rights movement, GGR, and its Chair, Felix Alvarez.

“The people of Gibraltar are wonderful, but the government appears to be drifting towards autocracy,” he said.

Mr Tatchell was invited by GGR to visit Gibraltar on a fact-finding mission to meet local people and give his assessment of the human rights situation.

As well as meeting ordinary Gibraltarians and local human rights campaigners, Mr Tatchell met with the leaders of all the political parties, except Peter Caruana, the Chief Minister and head of the governing party, the Gibraltar Social Democrats.

While every other party leader was happy to meet Mr Tatchell and his host, Felix Alvarez, Peter Caruana refused to meet Mr Tatchell if Mr Alvarez was present.

“The Chief Minister’s attitude towards Mr Alvarez was petty and rude. I did not think it was right that Peter Caruana was prepared to meet me, a foreigner, but not one of his own Gibraltarian citizens. This did not strike me as polite or reasonable,” said Mr Tatchell.

“Despite the Chief Minister’s snub, I want to thank the people of Gibraltar for their kindness, warmth and hospitality. I have enjoyed my stay and wish the people of Gibraltar well.

“I reiterate my strong support for Gibraltar’s right to self-determination.

“So far as the human rights situation here is concerned, the conclusions of my fact-finding visit are as follows:

Peter Tatchell – Gibraltar Human Rights Report – 2 October 2007

1. Sexual minorities

· Equality and fairness requires that Gibraltar legislate legal recognition and rights for same-sex couples – perhaps modelled on the UK’s Civil Partnership Act 2003 but also – unlike the flawed UK law - making civil partnerships available to heterosexual couples to ensure parity.
· The unequal age of consent for gay men is illegal under the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Gibraltar is required to adhere. Why is the government defying the European Court and refusing to equalise the consent laws?
· Also unlawful under the European Convention are the discriminatory homophobic offences of ‘buggery’, ‘attempted buggery’ and ‘gross indecency.’ The government should scrap these anti-gay laws to ensure that the criminal law does not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.
· Eligibility for affordable housing schemes has been extended to unmarried heterosexual partners but not to unmarried same-sex partners. How can this differential treatment be justified?
· In the absence of legal protection against discrimination in the provision of goods and services, restaurateurs, hoteliers and shop owners are entitled to refuse to serve a gay or lesbian person. When does the government propose prohibit anti-gay discrimination in the provision of goods and services? It has already eliminated such discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnicity. How about also protecting the gay and lesbian citizens of Gibraltar?
· Why, seven years after its establishment, is GGR one of the very few community organisations that receives no government funding or premises? It is providing a valuable social and community service.

2. Equal Opportunities Commission

· The creation of the EOC is a welcome first step, but its terms of reference have never been made public. Why not? The remit of the EOC is narrowly defined to cover only race equality. It should be extended to cover all discrimination, including discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation, disability and religion or belief, possibly along the lines of the UK’s new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

3. Disabled rights and mental health issues

· Why is there is no walking stick or Braille training for the blind or visually impaired?
· The government has promised to build a new Psychiatric Hospital – when does it intend delivering on this promise?
· Disabled people have limited legal protection against discrimination. To remedy this failing, legislation similar to Britain’s Disability Discrimination Act is a priority. It would help safeguard the rights and welfare of disabled Gibraltarians.
· There is an urgent need for a full independent public inquiry into allegations of abuse at the Dr Giraldi Home. In the meantime, the Police Commissioner should open a new investigation into allegations of criminal misconduct.

4. Media independence

· It is highly desirable to establish an independent Press Complaints Commission to safeguard freedom of the press and ensure fair and ethical standards of reporting – with adequate statutory redress for people who have been unfairly maligned by the media.
· The Gibraltar government announced it will undertake a review of GBC. Why has the government not announced the terms of reference, scope and timetable of this review?

5. Moroccan community

The Moroccan community has raised a number of concerns, including parent’s difficulties in obtaining visas for their children to visit Gibraltar during the summer holidays; the denial of permanent residence rights to people who have lived and worked in Gibraltar for 25 years or more, contrary to Gibraltar’s own laws; and the unfairness of the English-proficiency requirement for residence, given that the government has failed to provide English language training to enable applicants for residence to fulfil this requirement.

6. The drift to autocracy

There are concerns at the way the Chief Minister has taken for himself the very important Ministries of Finance and Justice. This is a very unhealthy concentration of power in the hands of one man, which goes against the British tradition of separation of powers and of checks and balances.

The suspension of the Chief Justice, Derek Schofield, combined with the Chief Minister’s assumption of the Justice Minister post, raises questions concerning the independence of the judiciary and the proper separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive.

The allied criticisms of the operation of industrial tribunals and their failure to provide swift, fair rulings to appellants – including the fact some claimants have great difficulty in funding their cases. Everyone should be entitled to equal access to justice.

7. Conclusion

There is a human rights deficit in Gibraltar. It is backward and outdated compared to most of Europe. The public mood seems to be in favour of equality and human rights, but legislative action is being thwarted by the government of Peter Caruana.

I do not understand why the Chief Minister is so reluctant to ensure equal and fair treatment for all Gibraltar’s citizens. It would cost him next to nothing and win him much goodwill.

Gibraltar is fantastic. But it is being brought down by the foolish prejudice of its government.

These are my findings and recommendations. It is up to the people and government of Gibraltar to decide which, if any, of these proposals they wish to implement.

GGR Chairman calls for Election unity


Felix Alvarez, Chairman of Equality Rights Group GGR (pictured left, courtesy Gibraltar Chronicle), told a press conference at John Mackintosh Hall on Tuesday, 2 October 2007:

“Peter Tatchell is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary track record in human rights. He has been closely interested in issues of human rights in Gibraltar for many years now. But when he recently wrote in The Guardian online he was criticised for speaking ‘from the outside’, a criticism which he accepted.

“It was for this reason that I invited Peter to come to Gibraltar and independently meet people from across the community. Something which he has done with untiring vigour over the past 6 days, and which he will briefly be reporting on.

“At the same time, as Chairman of Equality Rights Group GGR there are issues which must be addressed directly to fellow Gibraltarians; for Mr Caruana has been in power for 3 terms. 3 terms of office during which time the rights of ordinary Gibraltarians have been slowly but surely eroded. 3 terms of office during which time Mr Caruana has been slowly but surely increasing his own powers over you as a person and over us as a People.

“There are many of us in Gibraltar affected by this situation. Do NOT lose hope! Do NOT fail to turn out with your vote on 11 October! If you are undecided, if you are wavering, if you are considering not even voting, or if you are gay, disabled, a pensioner, someone who can’t afford the affordable homes, or you have one of so many different reasons for being unhappy and disgruntled the solution is to make your voice heard. Together, we are NOT a minority.

“Together our votes make a very big difference! Vote ONLY for those parties who have clearly committed to you and your needs. With your vote, punish those who have been in power for almost 12 years and who have continued to ignore you! Not only that, get your family and your friends to do the same or at least to give some of their votes to those parties who have clearly committed to helping you! Every vote will help! Again, don’t give up hope: as Gibraltarians who love our country we can make this country be a tolerant, caring and just society. But we have to do it together and in Unity,” said Alvarez.