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Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to persuade the Government of Gibraltar (a) to reform the age of consent for male homosexual acts and (b) to combat discrimination on grounds of race, disability and sexual orientation on the island. (113914)

Gibraltar’s new Constitution, which came into effect on 2 January 2007, represents several years of dialogue between the Government and the Government of Gibraltar on these and a wide range of other issues. Section 14.3 of the new Constitution covers all forms of discrimination.

The Equal Opportunities Ordinance 2006 was passed by the Gibraltar House of Assembly on 8 December 2006. The Ordinance repeals and re-enacts the Equal Opportunities Ordinance 2004 to transpose into the law of Gibraltar Council Directive 2002/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions, and to transpose into the law of Gibraltar the provisions on age and disability discrimination in Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

This legislation strengthens existing provisions on race, disability and sexual orientation. Furthermore, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau was, on 11 May 2006, given responsibility for the promotion of equal treatment on the grounds of sex and race by Legal Notice 58 of 2006.