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Gibraltar's Lib Dem MEP speaks out on age of consent

June 23, 2009 5:21 PM

The Lib Dem MEP for Gibraltar (and South West England) Graham Watson has spoken out following the defeat of a motion in the Gibraltar Parliament to equalise the age of consent there. He said, "Gibraltar needs to equalise its age of consent; that is one of its international obligations. The Gibraltar Government should push forward with a Government Bill on this issue. The Bill's passage would then be assured and it would have the support of the Opposition parties in Gibraltar as well.

"I note that there is a motion pending discussion tabled by Gibraltar's Opposition Leader which reaffirms the principle of equalisation and calls for wider consultation as to what the actual age of consent should be. This way forward has been supported by Gibraltar Gay Rights who I would add I have worked along side for a number of years on this issue. I hope that this motion obtains unanimous support in Gibraltar's Parliament and that the age of consent is equalised after the consultation process has taken place, as it indeed should be."

The bill which was defeated last week would have lower the age of consent sex between men from 18 to 16, an equalisation which would have brought Gibraltar into line on European human rights law.