Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Protest at International Rights group exclusion of Gibraltar

A communique from Equality Rights group (GGR) has drawn attention to the exclusion of Gibraltar by ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association).
‘ILGA is an influential international campaign organisation with representation at European, International and UN level. It produces Reports on the state of sexual minority human rights, as well as a yearly World Map on homophobia. For years, we have asked ILGA to take note of the LGBT community in Gibraltar, and just as consistently (save with a few exceptions) they have consciously ignored the issue. Recently (for IDAHO) they published their 2012 version of the World Map, again excluding Gibraltar and showing us to form part of Spain. We have therefore sent a strong protest to ILGA – as well as copies to the President of the UK Lib-Dems, Simon Hughes MP, Sir Graham Watson MEP and other political figures. Here is the text by the group’s Chairman:

'I am writing to protest in the strongest terms - once more - the exclusion of Gibraltar from the recently published ILGA World Map 2012. This is an issue which, over the years, I have raised with ILGA Europe, and which continues to be ignored. It consistently manifests itself not only on the issue of the World Map, but in your various published Reports on the state of gay human rights.

On various fronts, ILGA's practice and/or policy on this matter makes no sense and reinforces rather than overcomes the central issue of exclusion: a) because your Map claims to be an accurate description of the state of gay human rights at world level - it evidently does not and is therefore a false claim and b) because by refusing to accept the reality - that LGBT people in Gibraltar live under a very different legislative framework to those in the UK - you distort and misrepresent the reality and c) because (as shown in your map) Gibraltar does not form a part of Spain.

It is unacceptable that LGBT people in Gibraltar should thus be excluded by ILGA, whose central raison d'etre is to combat exclusion and discrimination. Yet your continuing and conscious ignoring (the issue has been raised several times over the years) of an LGBT community only doubly reinforces discrimination: i) on LGBT issues and b) because we form part of a tiny community.

I look forward to receiving an explanation which is satisfactory regarding this issue. It is high time the matter was settled and justice were done to Gibraltar's LGBT community, and we are determined this should be so through whatever means.’

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Governor of Gibraltar supports International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO)

Press statement from the Office of HE The Governor of Gibraltar:

Thursday 17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO). IDAHO is celebrated around the world and is being celebrated this year in Gibraltar for the first time. It aims to bring awareness and calls for an end to discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

HE the Governor, Sir Adrian Johns, welcomed the marking of IDAHO in Gibraltar:

‘I wholeheartedly support IDAHO and the global work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) equality and justice. It is sadly the case that in many places, including in the UK and Gibraltar, LGBT citizens can still be victims of discrimination. Respect for diversity is a universal human right that we should all be able to take for granted.’

Equality Rights Group and UNITE the Union mark International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO)

‘The gay community, their straight friends, families and supporters will no longer allow homophobia’

In a new development, Equality Rights Group GGR and Unite the Union have today formally announced a joint project of cooperation to promote equality and eradicate discrimination. In their first joint effort, GGR and Unite are today marking International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), a worldwide event celebrated every 17th May, in a symbolic gesture outside Parliament.

GGR Chairman, Felix Alvarez, expressed satisfaction ‘both at the first-ever marking of IDAHO in Gibraltar – because homophobia is real enough, even though often subtle, in making many people’s lives unhappy, and this needs to continue changing – and also with the building of positive relations with the Union movement in Gibraltar.’

For his part, Michael Netto, Unite Chairman, also hailed ‘the establishment of constructive work alongside the Equality Rights Group, planning for which has now commenced’, adding that ‘it not only fulfils and complies with Unite’s firm commitment to equality and human rights, but it also complements the important work already carried out by the Union in this community.’