Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

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

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Alvarez hails Gibraltar court decision as 'important'

GGR preparing ‘further court action’ against Government in Strasbourg and Luxembourg

Equality Rights Group Chairman, Felix Alvarez, has hailed today’s High Court judgment concerning the right to joint tenancy of a Gibraltarian lesbian couple. The case was decided by Mr Anthony Dudley, Acting Chief Justice, and Mr Alvarez described the judgment as ‘the first important same-sex rights issue to have been taken up by the Gibraltar courts.”

“Following the Court decision, GGR calls both on Government and the Chief Minister to immediately reformulate housing policy in respect of same-sex couples, and, additionally, calls on the Housing Allocation Committee to consequently review Ms Rodriguez’ case favourably by allowing her partner to become a legitimate joint tenant.

“The Judiciary has recognised the foolishness of a government housing policy which allows for two persons in a same-sex relationship to separately apply for and be allocated different housing units, when all they want to do is occupy one. This more logical attitude would benefit everyone because it makes more sensible use of limited housing. Instead, the population at large, and especially those affected by lack of housing, are given a raw deal by a policy which is short on common sense and long on prejudice.

In further statements to the Press, Mr Alvarez revealed that “GGR has been working hard for the past 5 months in preparing the way for further court action in the coming New Year once EU legislation on goods and services discrimination is in place.

“We therefore reserve our position regarding further court actions to challenge government policies, and, if necessary,” Mr Alvarez closed, “we are determined to go all the way to both the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice.”