Constitutional court rules in favour of same-sex marriage

Wed, Nov 7, 2012, 00:00

Spain’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of the country’s legislation allowing same-sex marriage, bringing to an end a seven-year legal process. Members of gay and lesbian organisations gathered in central Madrid last night to celebrate the news.

Eight magistrates voted to reject an appeal lodged by the conservative Partido Popular (PP) against the law. Three judges voted for the appeal, and one abstained on technical grounds.

The Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero introduced the gay marriage law in 2005, as part of a series of social reforms. The law also included allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. Spain was one of the first countries in the world to have such legislation and more than 20,000 couples have got married under it. However, the PP, which was in opposition when the reform was approved, immediately filed an appeal against the change.

The law altered “the secular, legal and constitutional conception of marriage as the union between man and woman,” read the PP’s appeal, which described the law as “one of the legislative changes of deepest transcendence and repercussions in Spanish society.”

The Catholic Church also backed the PP’s stance, with bishops accompanying politicians at marches and rallies against gay marriage.