Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Spain's Top Court Upholds Marriage Equality Law

Good news! When the conservatives in the Popular Party (PP) won Spain's parliamentary elections last year they vowed to overturn the country's marriage equality law which has been in effect since 2005. They first did so by appointing conservative judges to Spain's high court which has been considering an appeal to the law's constitutionality that was filed shortly by the PP after the law went into effect more than 7 years ago.

Today comes word that by a vote of 8-3 the law was upheld by Spain's Constitutional Court in Madrid:
Spain’s Parliament passed the gay marriage law in 2005 when it was Socialist-controlled, with Popular Party deputies opposed. The Popular Party took power late last year after the Socialists were ousted over their handling of the economy. 
The gay marriage law angered the predominant Roman Catholic Church but opinion surveys showed most Spaniards backed it. Belgium and the Netherlands approved gay marriage laws before Spain. 
More than 22,000 gay marriages have taken place in Spain.
The PP could still try to pass a new law through Parliament repealing marriage equality in the country, but since then other countries in Europe have also ratified marriage equality, including neighboring Portugal in 2010, Sweden in 2009, Denmark in 2012 and Norway in 2008. In 2010 fellow Spanish-speaking country Argentina enacted marriage equality and France is poised to consider legislation to do so soon, although the political debate and religious opposition is growing more fractious as the possibility of marriage equality becomes more realistic in that country.

Regardless, today we can celebrate that Spain has marriage equality, which is one of the reasons why my husband and myself spent a week visiting the country (Barcelona and Madrid) earlier this year!

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