Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Age of Consent court case: Caruana would do the same as the UK in their shoes

  • Alvarez accuses Caruana of a homophobic crusade ‘at tax payers’ expense’
Responding to news that the British government has filed to intervene in the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the age of consent issue, Felix Alvarez, Equality Rights Group Chairman, has welcomed the fact that “the UK, the party responsible for this matter under international law, has once more made its position clear regarding the legal obligation for the age of consent to be equalised.
Mr Alvarez further stated that “Mr Caruana would do exactly the same as the UK is doing were he in their shoes. Perhaps he hasn’t yet understood that the British government is under an inescapable legal obligation under the European Convention of Human Rights to ensure there is no inequality in this law in Gibraltar. Indeed, two years ago, HMG was given notice by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (the highest sanctioning body in that organisation) to ensure this came about.
“Almost a year ago I publicly warned that the path the Chief Minister was treading could provoke a confrontation between Gibraltar and Britain on this matter, a situation which would be of great disservice to Gibraltarians.
“Nonetheless”, Mr Alvarez continued, “Mr Caruana did not present a Bill guaranteeing equalisation would take place. Instead, he used the delaying tactic of a free vote, risking an uncertain outcome, thus ignoring the legally binding nature of the requirement.

“For a Chief Minister of Gibraltar to place the whole community so close to direct intervention by the UK, and despite his much-touted new Constitution, is irresponsible to say the least. One can only conclude that Mr Caruana cares very little for the wider interests of Gibraltar in its UK relationship when it comes to promoting his on-going crusade at tax payers’ expense against the Gibraltar gay community in pursuing what is a sectarian homophobic agenda. Gibraltar is for all – and the Chief Minister must look after the interests of all its citizens, without exclusion,” Mr Alvarez ended.