Tory gay wedding opens up party split

31st July 2006, Comments 0 comments

31 July 2006, MADRID – Madrid’s conservative mayor has been accused of disloyalty to his party after he presided over a gay marriage.

31 July 2006

MADRID – Madrid’s conservative mayor has been accused of disloyalty to his party after he presided over a gay marriage.

Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon officiated at the ceremony between Javier Gomez, who heads the conservative PP’s gay and lesbian rights association, and his boyfriend Manuel Rodenas, lawyer and manager of the advice section for gays, lesbians and transsexuals which is run by the Madrid Comunidad (province).

The ceremony took place at the Real Casa de la Panaderia on Saturday and was also supported by other conservative PP members.

Just before the wedding took place, the secretary of communication for the PP, Gabriel Elorriaga, described the mayor as "incoherent" and called on him to respect the "decisions adopted by the party recently".

After the wedding, the PP secretary general of congress, Jorge Fernandez, said the mayor’s part in the ceremony was "a very clear act of political act of disloyalty to the party". Ruiz-Gallardon should have delegated his mayoral duty to a councillor, said Fernandez.

On Monday, the socialists called on PP leader Mariano Rajoy to say whether he supported the mayor or those who criticised him.

The row is not the first time the issue of gay marriage has divided the PP party. Last year, Rajoy announced the party would challenge the legalisation of gay marriage at the Constitutional Court and prominent PP member Esperanza Aguirre warned against the challenge saying it would make the party look homophobic.

"Sexual orientation lies within the sphere of individual freedom. We should favour the exercise of rights and freedoms," she said.

Other conservatives agreed with her.

At the time, Ruiz Gallardon, who is widely regarded as a standard-bearer for centrists within the PP, expressed the opinion that disagreeing with some of the party's decisions is normal, and said the municipality would continue to conduct gay marriages according to law.

However, he also insisted he would not publicly disagree with Rajoy.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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