Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Government continues to waste tax payers' money

Following recent news of a Gibraltar Appeal Court ruling on the on-going lesbian joint tenancy case, Equality Rights Group GGR has criticised what it calls “Government’s wasteful use of taxpayers’ money in pursuing court actions which, in the end, it will have to go back on.

“The facts are these: while government spends many thousands of pounds in preventing a gay couple from being able to occupy one flat jointly instead of being allocated two separate housing units as a couple of long-standing, they know as well as we do, that the EU will be introducing binding law which will make discrimination in housing illegal on the grounds of sexual orientation. In other words, government will have no choice in the matter in a few years’ time. The vast majority of Europeans today consider the kind of treatment being meted out by the Housing Allocations Committee to same-sex couples as unfair and unacceptable.

“Despite this, the Caruana government continues to pour big money into the defence of a position it is doomed to lose. What kind of reasoning is this when not so long ago we were being told by the Minister for Justice that the access of ordinary citizens to Legal Aid had to be re-defined and curtailed in order to save money?

“Something somewhere just does not fit in what appears, more and more, to be a government policy led by prejudice and homophobia.

“The rulings of the Courts must be respected at all times. However, judgments are subject to further appeal. GGR will continue to support this and any other same-sex individual or couple with a just cause in discrimination to take their complaint as far as the law permits.

“In this case, we look forward to the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling being overturned either by the Privy Council in the UK, or by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. We are confident this will turn out to be so. And even if it isn’t, in a few years’ time we will still live to see government obliged to change its policy by law, whether the present administration likes it or not. The only shame is that government should still insist on wasting citizens’ money.”