LGBT Spain Approves Gay Marriage Despite Church Anger (Reuters)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by NOVAJock, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    Spain Approves Gay Marriage Despite Church Anger
    Thu Apr 21, 2005 02:56 PM ET
    By Emma Ross-Thomas



    MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's parliament gave initial approval to a law legalizing gay marriage on Thursday in a move likely to rekindle conflict with a Catholic Church that has just elected a new conservative pope.

    A packed public gallery erupted in cheers and applause as the speaker announced approval of the Socialist government's proposal, making Spain the third European country to legalese gay marriage.

    "It's unfair to be a second-class citizen because of love," Socialist legislator Carmen Monton said. "Spain joins the vanguard of those defending full equality for gays and lesbians."

    The proposal, part of a raft of liberal social legislation by the government, has outraged Spain's Catholic church and is unlikely to please Pope Benedict XVI, elected on Tuesday.

    The Pope, formerly the Vatican's top doctrinal guardian, has said same-sex unions are destroying the concept of marriage and eroding Europe's social identity.

    The bill, passed by 183-136, still needs Senate approval and a final reading in the lower house, but it is widely expected to become law.

    However, Spain's top judicial authority has said in a non-binding ruling that gay marriage is unconstitutional, which could encourage a legal challenge.

    Only the conservative opposition Popular Party and a Christian democrat party from Catalonia opposed the bill.

    Popular Party spokesman Eduardo Zaplana said his party favored equal rights and gay unions for homosexuals. "But it's quite another thing that an ancient institution like marriage, that is fundamental for the organization of society, has to be exactly the same (for homosexuals)," he said.

    STREET CELEBRATION Dozens of activists gathered outside congress to celebrate.

    "It's an indescribable emotion," Antonio Poveda, an activist for gay rights group Lambda, said. "I'm going to get married for the sake of activism, for love, and for a question of dignity."


    Spain's bishops said in a statement after the vote that legalizing gay marriage was "damaging to the common good" and threatened social order.

    Gaspar Llamazares, leader of the small United Left coalition, said it was a boon for Spain.

    "This is ... an important advance in what we might call the laicism of our country," he told Reuters.

    The bill gives same-sex unions the same status as heterosexual ones, including inheritance rights, pensions and the adoption of children.

    By a crushing margin, the lower house also approved a bill making divorce quicker and easier and allowing divorced parents to share children's custody.

    Senior churchmen have criticized Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's liberal agenda, which also includes easing abortion restrictions and permitting stem cell research, but the moves are popular among young Spaniards, fewer than a fifth of whom are practicing Catholics.

    Zapatero, who insists relations with the church are good, said on Thursday he would respect Pope Benedict's views.

    "If the new pope says something, I'm prepared to respect what he says," he told a news conference.

    During the 1939 to 1975 Catholic dictatorship of Francisco Franco divorce, homosexuality and abortion were illegal. But since Franco's death the country has adopted some of the most liberal views in Europe and a survey last year showed 70 percent of the country supported gay marriage. Former Pope John Paul warned Spanish bishops in January that an increasingly secular-minded Spain was moving toward "restriction of religious freedom and even promoting disdain or ignorance of religion."
     
  2. Team503

    Team503 Guest

    Good for Spain! Now if only the US would follow. :( We're turning into such a backwards ass country...
     
  3. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    I don't see it that way. I like how the government is set up here, and I think the issue should be left up to individual states. There is no need for every state to have a same-sex marriage law if the majority of people do not want it. This is the land of compromises, not winner takes all.
     
  4. Team503

    Team503 Guest

    See, there's too many practicality problems there. Not to mention the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which dictates that if Massacheusetts (sp) legalizes gay marriage (which they did), and you get married there, then any other state you visit, BY LAW, must honor your marriage. So it's going to be decided on a Federal level, eventually by the USSC, because any state attempting to deny that clause is in direct violation the of Constitution of the United States of America, which is exactly what the USSC has jurisdiction over. :)

    And your viewpoint is certainly your right to have, but I ask you this - what gives anyone the right to dictate who marries whom at all? I don't believe this is a case of granting rights so much as protecting them.
     
  5. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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  6. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    Personally I would just do away with marriage all together, and call everything a civil union.

    You get married in your religion then your married, if not...call yourself what you want.

    But I don't advocate head-butting to get your point across. And Spain's Socialist trend is hardly soemthing we should look up to. I already get pissed looking at how much of my money goes somewhere else before into my bank account...
     
  7. Team503

    Team503 Guest

    I agree with that concept. :)
     

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