The 1st June marks the beginning of Pride Month, an event that is celebrated in many countries around the world. Pride month was established to honour those involved in the Stonewall riots in New York on the 28th June 1969.
It is considered one of the most important events leading to the Gay liberation movement.
This year, to commemorate Pride Month, Government will be celebrating in a visually colourful way. Rainbow flags will be hoisted on the 1st and 28th June at the land frontier and at No 6 Convent Place. Rainbow flags will also be flown during Pride month outside St Bernard’s Hospital, Care Agency and Royal Gibraltar Police Headquarters at New Mole House. The Minster for Equality will also be displaying a flag in her office and at the Ministry of Equality for the duration of the month.
The Moorish Castle was also brightly lit with the LGBTQ+ rainbow colours on the 1st June to mark the start of Pride month, and again on the 25th June to mark the Pride march.
The Ministry of Equality says it would also like to encourage the public to view and share a video that the Ministry published in 2019 with the aim of raising awareness of LGBTQ+ matters and to promote respect and inclusion for all members of the community, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The video can be viewed on HM Government of Gibraltar’s Facebook page or on the Ministry of Equality website: www.gibraltar.gov.gi/department-equality
Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar said it is the first to have recognised the rights of LGBTQ+ people of Gibraltar.
Notable achievement since 2011 are:
The Civil Partnership Act in 2014 and Civil Marriage Amendment Act in 2016 not only recognised legal relationships for same sex couples, but also paved the way for adoption by same sex couples
In 2013, legislation was enacted which outlawed homophobic hate crime and speech
In 2015, this protection was further extended for people who undergo gender reassignment.
In February 2021, Gibraltar implemented a surrogacy law. This allows individuals and couples, married or in a civil partnership, unable to conceive, to engage in non-commercial, altruistic surrogacy. The legislation also provides automatic recognition to children of same-sex couples conceived through artificial insemination.
The Ministry of Equality has enhanced the above achievements through community engagement and the introduction of awareness training, in particular to PGCE students, nursing trainees and engaging with the local youth clubs.
The Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “In this day and age there are still some people who may not agree or even understand what the LGBTQ+ movement is about. The importance of living and letting others live as they wish is vital in a democratic society. People should be allowed to express themselves as they wish without any fear or concern of reprisal. People should be able to hold hands in public with whomever they want. Therefore, the importance of raising awareness in relation to the LGTBQ+ issues is paramount so that people understand that they should accept that others may want to express themselves differently. If we want to build an outright inclusive society in Gibraltar, we need to work on the issues that cause barriers. The Ministry of Equality is active in this respect in its outreach in the provision of its equality and inclusion training.
“Gibraltar is more inclusive today than it has ever been. This Government has pioneered landmark equality legislation for the LGTBQ+ community, but no form of legislation can change hearts and minds. In order to do this, Gibraltarians, irrespective of their own sexual preference or gender identity, must stand together in support of the rights of the LGBTQ+ community to openly be themselves. The month of June is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness because of its symbolic importance and issues need to be brought to the fore with the aim of encouraging debate and a change of attitudes. Join us at the Pride march on the 25th June to celebrate Gibraltar’s Pride and inclusion.”