The most resistant of Britain’s crown dependencies on GLBT rights has been forced to equalise its age of consent laws.

Gibraltar, off the coast of Spain near the mouth of the Mediterannean, legalised homosexuality in 1993. It only protects GLBTs from discrimination in employment, and does not recognise the relationships of its gay and lesbian residents.

However, on April 8, the Supreme Court of Gibraltar ruled the age of consent should be equalised in the territory, which had previously been 18 for gay men and 16 for heterosexuals and lesbians.

Gibraltan GLBT group Equal Rights Group GGR called the victory, “a first but very hard won step forward towards equality for all sexual minorities in Gibraltar”.

“This first major hurdle towards Gibraltar law recognising equality for this sector of our community is a litmus test … for how the issues have moved on … in Gibraltar since GGR started to air the questions affecting LGBT people on the Rock in September 2000.”

In comparison, the crown dependency of Jersey voted to provide civil partnerships for same-sex couples in 2010, while same-sex couples on the Isle of Man began entering into civil unions this month.

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