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27th October 2016, 21:16

Equal marriage bill passed by Parliament

Parliament has passed a Bill that makes it possible for same sex couples in Gibraltar to marry. The Civil Marriage Amendment Bill was read by Equality Minister Samantha Sacramento on Wednesday morning and has received unanimous support.

The one controversial aspect of the Bill was a proposed clause that allows Deputy Registrars to opt out of conducting a same sex marriage. Several Opposition members said public servants should not be able to decline to perform their duties, as did the Independent member, Marlene Hassan Nahon, who moved an amendment during the committee stage of the Bill. The amendment was defeated by eleven votes to four, with the Leader of the Opposition and Edwin Reyes MP voting with the Government. The Chief Minister insisted that the Bill as drafted allowed civil servants to be true to their conscience, adding that the Government as an employer also has a responsibility to its employees.

Parliament has been adjourned till 3.30pm.