Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Committee - New Phase

‘To say that because we defend gay rights we are ineligible to raise our voices on broader issues is discriminatory and unacceptable’

Thanking the old Executive Committee for their work over the past 4 years, Equality Rights Group GGR has announced the formation of a new Executive following recent elections. GGR’s statement to the Press highlights ‘what is not only a new set of individuals, but also a new phase of openness, where people are beginning to lose their fear of being publicly known. This is only one sign of the many changes which are occurring for not only gay citizens in Gibraltar, but also their heterosexual friends, too, who themselves, are also overcoming their fears to openly support. As such, a good number of the 14 EC applicants were not gay.

‘We will not be stereotyped nor put into neat little boxes by any means – editorially, politically, socially or otherwise. We defend Gibraltar-wide human and civil rights across the board – and we do so precisely because we walk our talk on ‘inclusiveness'. To say that because we defend gay rights we are ineligible to raise our voices on broader issues is discriminatory and unacceptable.’

‘There is still a long way to go, though. People in all sectors should come together in realizing that we can only be dubbed ‘minorities’ when we allow ourselves to be partitioned off. Whether we like it or not, all ‘minority’ issues in a small community affect the majority, directly or indirectly, through our friends and families.

‘GGR took the decision last year to hold back on re-grouping for a prudent period pre- and post- the National Elections in Gibraltar in order to ensure stability in a period of flux. GGR is now pleased to announce the selection of the following individuals to its Executive: Ivan Hernandez, Kevin Kelway, Maryanne Nacimiento, Gabrielle Phillips, Charles Trico, Paul Wells and Felix Alvarez.

‘A number of co-opted individuals also assist the group in its work on an ‘as required’ basis. Furthermore, Kevin Kelway, known locally for his pro-Gibraltar activism in Britain, has been named in an honorary capacity, and will provide a link for the Committee to the UK.

The group has also revealed that the outgoing Executive Committee requested the Chairmanship of the group be re-taken by Felix Alvarez, who following consideration and endorsement accepted, insisting that the new Committee ‘represent a new phase and fresh approach to the group’s work.’ Charles Trico continues in the role of Secretary to the group.

‘GGR is in a growth phase, with the influx of new both gay and heterosexual participation. Indeed, heterosexual supporters and members comprise a significant new trend in the growth the organization is experiencing, with membership currently standing at around 500. We shall be holding more and more open meetings which we expect to start in a small way but which, with on-going hard work, are destined to grow in significance,’ the statement added.