Same-sex marriage in Spain
At least one partner must be a Spanish citizen in order to marry. Two non-Spaniards may marry if they both have legal residence in Spain. Approximately 4,500 same-sex couples married in Spain during the first year of the law. The conservative People’s Party challenged the law in the Constitutional Court. On 6 November 2012, the law was upheld by the Court with 8 support votes and 3 against.
About Same-sex marriage in Spain in brief
Same-sex marriage in Spain has been legal since July 3, 2005. At least one partner must be a Spanish citizen in order to marry, although two non-Spaniards may marry if they both have legal residence in Spain. Approximately 4,500 same-sex couples married in Spain during the first year of the law. The conservative People’s Party challenged the law in the Constitutional Court. On 6 November 2012, the law was upheld by the Court with 8 support votes and 3 against. Same-sex marriages were not legal in the autonomous communities, because the Spanish Constitution gives the State the sole power to legislate marriage. During the 1990s and early 2000s, several city councils and autonomous communities had opened registers for de facto unions that allow benefits for unmarried couples of any sex, although the effect is mainly symbolic. The Socialist Party manifesto for the 2004 general election included the pledge of amending the Civil Code to introduce same- sex marriage, granting it the same status as heterosexual marriage. After the Socialists’ victory in the election, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero promised at his inauguration address to bring this change forward. On 30 June 2004, then Minister of Justice Juan Fernando López Aguilar announced that the Congress had provisionally approved a government plan for legislation to extend the right of same- Sex Couples to marry. On 1 October 2004, the bill was approved by the Cabinet and passed by the Congress of Deputies.
The bill was returned to the lower house, which holds the power to override the Cabinet’s vetoes. On 21 April 2005, it was rejected by the Senate, where the opposition’s People Party held a plurality of seats. It was passed on 21 June 2005 by the Cortes Generales and published on 2 July 2005. The law took effect the next day, making Spain the third country in the world to allow same-Sex couples to marry on a national level, after the Netherlands and Belgium, and 17 days ahead of the right being extended across all of Canada. In November 2011, the People’s party delivered a landslide victory to the People’s Party, whose leader Mariano Rajoy said that he opposed same-Gay marriage, but any decision about repealing the law could be made only after the ruling of the Constitutional court. In April 2013, the Spanish Government announced that it will abide by the ruling and the law will not be repealed. In January 2014, the Catalan government introduced two propositions: one for same sex marriage and one for opposite-sex and common-law unions, while the other permitted transgender people to legally change their name and sex without the requirement of surgery. The Catalan government also introduced a proposition for both same-law and common law unions: L.A. and Catalonia: L’Avenir, which was introduced by the regional Convergence Union party and introduced one legal status for both the opposite-law union and same-Law Union of Catalonia.