Gibralter LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. Territory

In August 2011, the age of consent was equalised at age 16 years [R1.6].

Crimes Bill 2011 Sexual activity with a child [L1.5]

221.(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if-

(a) he intentionally touches another person (B);

(b) the touching is sexual; and

(c) either-

(i) B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over; or

(ii) B is under 13.

(2) A person who commits an offence under this section, if the touching involved-

(a) penetration of B’s anus or vagina with a part of A’s body or anything else;

(b) penetration of B’s mouth with A’s penis;

(c) penetration of A’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body; or

(d) penetration of A’s mouth with B’s penis,

is liable on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for 14 years.


Consensual sex between same-sex male couples was lawful at age 18 years, compared to 16 years for heterosexuals and quaere lesbians [R1.1].

In March 2010, reportedly the British government could force Gibraltar to equalise the age of consent for gay men by an Order in Council if the territory does not take action to change the law [R1.3].

On 18 June 2009, a Private Members Bill aimed at equalising the age of consent for gay men in Gibraltar was defeated in parliament [R1.2].

In October 2007 the UK Prime Minister committed himself to ending the unequal age of consent in the self-governing territory [R1.4].

See also: 2. Courts & Tribunals

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 08 April 2011, High Court Chief Justice Anthony Dudley ruled that the age of consent should be the same for gay men and women as for heterosexuals [R2.3].

In November 2010, the Supreme Court was considering whether the age of consent for gay men is discriminatory, preparatory to the court declaring whether the current law is constitutional [R2.2].

In March 2010, Chief Minister Peter Caruana and Attorney General Ricky Rhoda, QC, asked the Supreme Court court to declare whether the difference between the age of consent for homosexuals compared to that for lesbian and heterosexual couples breaches the constitutional rights of gay males [R2.1].

R1.6 Gibralter Chronicle: Age of Consent, 16, Framed in Law 20 AUG 11
L1.5 Crimes Bill 2011 PDF 1.99MB, 14 APR 11
R1.4 Europe Questions UK About Gay Rights in Gibraltar 01 MAY 08
R1.3 Britain ‘could force Gibraltar to adopt equal age of consent’ 31 MAR 10
R1.2 Bill to equalise age of consent in Gibraltar defeated 18 JUN 09
R1.1 Rainbow Network: Gay Activist Ejected by Gibraltar Minister’s Aides 25 OCT 01
R2.3 UK Gay News: Another Step Towards Equality Says Gibraltar Gay Rights Following Court Ruling 08 APR 11
R2.2 PinkNews: Gibraltar Supreme Court considers gay age of consent 12 NOV 10
R2.1 Gibralter Chronicle: Courts set to decide on gay consent age 05 MAR 10
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
1. National

On 09 June 2017, the Gibraltar Health Authority was reported to have approved an amendment to its In Vitro Fertilisation Policy at a board meeting, giving same-sex female couples access to in vitro fertilisation where the IVF treatment is recommended by a consultant gynaecologist with expertise in managing cases of infertility and after referral from a GP. The procedure also has to be endorsed by a second clinician specialised in the field and the recipient partner must be aged between 23 and 42 and the other partner must not be older than 55 [R1.1]

R1.1 GibraltarChronicle: Female same-sex couples get IVF access 09 JUN 17
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1. Territory

On 21 March 2014, the Civil Partnership Bill 2014 (B01/2014) passed the parliament unanimously (one absentee), extending the same benefits as married couples to non-marrige couples. The Bill becomes law upon publication [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 14 December 2009, the 5–judge Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled that housing officials in Gibraltar discriminated against a lesbian couple because of their sexual orientation in denying them a joint tenancy in a government apartment [R2.3].


In May 2009, a lesbian couple took their case to the Privy Council, the Court of Appeal having upheld a Supreme Court ruling that the government was entitled to protect the ‘traditional family’ by favouring straight married couples when allocating state housing [R2.2].

In August 2007, a lesbian couple launched legal action against the government of Gibralter over its failure to recognise their 19-year relationship [R2.1].

L1.2 Bill: Civil Partnership Bill 2014 (B01/2014) PDF 791.24kb, 23 JAN 14
R1.1 GBC News: Civil Partnerships Bill Passed in Parliament 21 MAR 14
R2.3 The Advocate: Lesbians Win Gibraltar Housing Case 15 DEC 09
R2.2 Lesbian couple to appeal in the UK over Gibraltar’s housing policy 06 MAY 09
R2.1 MCV: Lesbians Rock Gibralter 23 AUG 07
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. Territory

In 1993, consensual sex between same-sex couples was decriminalised [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, fn 125, MAY 08
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. Territory

On 26 July 2016, all 15 parliamentary members present voted to pass the Civil Marriage Amendment Act (B. 20/16) permitting same-sex couples to marry. The Act comes into operation on the day appointed by the Minister following Royal Assent [R1.4].

On 15 August 2016, the Government published the Civil Marriage Amendment Act 2016 to amend the principal act to allow for civil marriage of same sex couples. It is expected that the Bill itself will be debated and voted on in six weeks time [L1.3], [R1.2].

On 20 January 2016, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said the Government would not hold a referendum on the issue of same sex marriage. In its recent manifesto for the 2015 Elections the GSLP/Liberal Alliance committed to holding consultations on draft legislation to allow same-sex marriage [R1.1].

R1.4 GayStarNews: Gibraltar passes same-sex marriage with unanimous support 26 OCT 16
L1.3 Act: Civil Marriage Amendment Act 2016 No. 2016B20 PDF 41.36kb 15 AUG 16
R1.2 EuroWeekly: Gibraltar Bill to allow same sex marriage 15 AUG 16
R1.1 GibralterChronicle: No referendum on same sex marriage – Picardo 21 JAN 16