Zapatero attacks legal challenge to gay marriage

20th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 September 2005, MADRID — Spanish prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero labelled plans by the main conservative opposition to legally challenge the government's gay marriage law as the "politics of the past".

21 September 2005

MADRID —  Spanish prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero labelled plans by the main conservative opposition to legally challenge the government's gay marriage law as the "politics of the past".

The Popular Party (PP) is to challenge the constitutionality of a law allowing same-sex marriage.

The Socialist premier told a press conference that the position of the conservative PP "is not in tune with what the majority of Spanish society thinks".

"They didn't accept the recognition of the rights of some people, in this case, homosexuals, who should have the same rights as any person," said Zapatero, adding that the PP now wants to strip gays and lesbians of the rights they gained under the new law.

"Spain needs a politics of the future," the prime minister said.

Earlier, the deputy leader of the PP, Angel Acebes, said the organization's lawyers are currently drafting the motion they plan to present to the Constitutional Court in an effort to have the law struck down.

His announcement came 24 hours after various gay groups selected PP-governed Madrid as the site of the 2007 European Gay Pride parade.

On 30 June, the Spanish Parliament voted 187-147 for a measure submitted by the ruling Socialists to give same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children.

The bill was strongly opposed by the PP, the Roman Catholic Church and social conservatives.

Spain became the third European country, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to allow same-sex unions.

Twenty-seven gay and lesbian couples have got married in Spain since the law took effect 3 July.

PP leader Mariano Rajoy accused the government of dividing the nation by pressing forward with same-sex marriage, arguing that it would have been better to forge a consensus around the conservatives' proposal for civil unions.

Polls conducted by the Center for Sociological Research showed that 56.9 percent of Spaniards approve of same-sex marriage, while only 42.4 percent favoured allowing such couples to adopt.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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