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Zapatero backs gay marriage

19 March 2004

MADRID – Spanish Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he was in favour of allowing same-sex marriage, it was reported Friday.

His government will draft a law to put gay unions and marriage on an equal footing, he told Spain’s Telecinco television channel.

He said same-sex marriage was a characteristic of a “modern and tolerant society”.

The conservative outgoing government of the Popular Party had rejected several calls to allow same-sex marriages.

Zapatero swept to a surprise victory in general elections Sunday.

Legalising gay unions was one of his campaign pledges.

In the interview he did not set a time-frame for the change.

Spain is an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country and the Vatican condemns same-sex marriages.

Subject: Spanish news