Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

Gibraltar’s parliament has rejected a bill that sought to equalise the age of consent for homosexual men.

As it stands, the legal age for heterosexuals and lesbians to have consensual sex is 16, while for homosexual men it is 18.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has spoken out against the decision, urging British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to intervene.

“As a British Overseas Territory, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has ultimate responsibility for ensuring Gibraltar’s compliance with human rights law,” he said from London.

“The Government of Gibraltar is required by the European Court of Human Rights to equalise the age of consent for same-sex relationships.”

Gibraltar is a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. Its Chief Minister, Peter Caruana has been under pressure from London to comply on equalising the age of consent, in addition to other human rights issues affecting the gay and lesbian community.

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