A bill legalising civil partnerships for same-sex couples in Gibraltar has been approved by the island’s Parliament.

Campaigners have welcomed the decision, describing it as an important step towards equality.

Felix Alvarez, the founder and chairman of Gibraltar’s Equality Rights Group said: “We heartily thank the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, the Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia, and all the Cabinet of Ministers, whether GSLP or Liberals, for delivering on their electoral promise to do justice to the LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) community. Their support and commitment has been both apparent and welcome.”

He added: “Yet, there is a way to go. Of that there is no doubt. Goods and services anti-discrimination provisions still await introduction and we trust they will be enacted before the current parliamentary term comes to a close.”

Same-sex sexual activity was legalised in Gibraltar in 1993. The age of consent was equalised in 2011.

However, trans people are not allowed to legally change their gender in Gibraltar.

The island also has no legal protections against LGBT discrimination in the provision of goods and services – or governing crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity.