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Mase
Apr 22nd, 2005, 12:44 AM
By CIARAN GILES, Associated Press Writer

MADRID, Spain - The lower house of the Spanish Parliament approved the Socialist government's gay marriage bill Thursday, a major step toward making traditionally Roman Catholic Spain the third European country to legalize same-sex marriages.


The bill, which also will pave the way for gay couples to adopt children, will now go to the Senate — where the Socialists have ample support — for final approval in the coming weeks. Belgium and the Netherlands are the only two other European countries that have legalized gay marriages.



Representatives of gay and lesbian groups cheered and applauded from the chamber's public gallery when the vote result was read out. The bill passed by a 183-136 vote, with six abstentions.



"This is a great and historic day because never before has such a small legal reform made such an important improvement in rights and in favor of freedom and equality," said Pedro Zerolo, a leader of Spain's homosexual rights group.



The bill reflects the radical change in recent decades in Spain, for centuries a bastion of the church. According to Madrid's Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, while 80 percent of Spaniards consider themselves Catholic, half ignore church teachings, and religion for most is more an inherited tag than a way of life.



Polls say nearly half of the country's Roman Catholics almost never go to Mass, and a third say they are simply not religious.



Spain's Roman Catholic church and the conservative opposition Popular Party opposed the bill.



The Spanish Bishops Conference issued a statement saying the bill "went against the common good." It added that it was "unfair that real marriage should be treated the same as the union of persons of the same sex."



Last year, conference spokesman Antonio Martinez Camino said allowing gay marriage was like "imposing a virus on society, something false that will have negative consequences for social life."



Organizations representing the Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox faiths in Spain also expressed opposition to the bill, saying that recognition of other types of unions between couples should not alter the institution of matrimony.



In an opinion poll on the issue carried out by the government-run Center for Sociological Investigations last June, 66 percent of Spaniards favored legalizing gay marriage, while 26 percent opposed.



Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialists proposed the bill in October, seven months after winning general elections that ended an eight-year stint in office for the Popular Party.



At a news conference before the vote, Zapatero was asked how he thought newly elected Pope Benedict XVI might greet the news.



"If the new pope wants to say something about it, I'm prepared to respect whatever he says, he can count on my respect for him," Zapatero said.



"One of the guarantees of democracy is the freedom of religion, freedom of opinion and freedom to carry out a political project with the citizens' vote."



In a separate vote Thursday, the lower house also approved the government's proposed fast-track, no-fault divorce law, which scraps the trial period of separation and lets people file directly for divorce three months after getting married.



Under the existing law, a man or woman filing for divorce had to state a reason to the judge, such as infidelity. The new bill says either can simply request a divorce — no questions asked — and the judge has to grant it.








Government figures show that 60 percent of Spanish marriages end either in separation or divorce.

Almalyk
Apr 22nd, 2005, 12:54 AM
Cool news!

Andy_
Apr 22nd, 2005, 09:06 AM
*Brushes up his Spanish skills* :bounce: :worship: :cool:

Central
Apr 22nd, 2005, 11:10 AM
This (among other things ;)) makes me proud of living in Spain :clap2:

galadriel
Apr 22nd, 2005, 11:21 AM
:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

bionic71
Apr 22nd, 2005, 12:36 PM
Fantastic news....another small step.

Gallofa
Apr 22nd, 2005, 12:42 PM
:yeah:

Svennovitch
Apr 22nd, 2005, 12:57 PM
Welcome to open-mindedness, Spain :)

kes
Apr 22nd, 2005, 01:46 PM
yay Spain!!!!

:yeah:

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

propi
Apr 22nd, 2005, 03:40 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4473001.stm

New Pope condemns Spain gay bill

Pope Benedict XVI has responded firmly to the first challenge of his papacy by condemning a Spanish government bill allowing marriage between homosexuals. The bill, passed by parliament's Socialist-dominated lower house, also allows gay couples to adopt.

A senior Vatican official described the bill - which is likely to become law within a few months - as iniquitous.

He said Roman Catholic officials should be prepared to lose their jobs rather than co-operate with the law.

The bill would make Spain the first European country to allow homosexual people to marry and adopt children.

Belgium and the Netherlands only allow same-sex marriages. It is also a dramatic step in the rapid secularisation of what was once one of the most devoutly Roman Catholic countries in Europe.

The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council on the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, denounced the legislation as profoundly iniquitous.

Secular state

Interviewed in the Italian newspaper, Corriere de la Serra, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo said the Church was making an urgent call for freedom of conscience for Roman Catholics and appealing to them to resist the law.

He said every profession linked with implementing homosexual marriages should oppose it, even if it meant losing their jobs.

The cardinal insisted that just because something was made law it did not make it right.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero took office a year ago making it clear he intended to remove what he called the church's undeniable advantages and make Spain a secular state.

There are likely to be further tensions with Pope Benedict XVI. Mr Zapatero has made it clear that he intends to streamline divorce law and even to relax the conditions placed on abortion.


:tape::tape::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Dahveed
Apr 22nd, 2005, 03:45 PM
I must say i'm pleasantly surprised by Spain! I hope other countries will follow, notably France where the first 'illegal' gay marriage has just been rejected.

Gallofa
Apr 22nd, 2005, 04:09 PM
I thought it was Trujillo that spoke up against gay marriage and not the Pope? That is a misleading title for the article.

DevilishAttitude
Apr 22nd, 2005, 06:19 PM
Gay marriage. Why.

And Spain clearly needs to sort out it's racism problems before you could call it a perfect country :rolleyes:

_julio_
Apr 22nd, 2005, 07:08 PM
Gay marriage. Why.

And Spain clearly needs to sort out it's racism problems before you could call it a perfect country :rolleyes:

Which racism problems??

DevilishAttitude
Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:42 PM
Football. England black players booed and monkey noises/chants at them.

If your country can accept gays surely it can accept coloured people :)

_julio_
Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:48 PM
But if there are a few of stupid people that do those things I don't think it means that all Spanish people are racist!

DevilishAttitude
Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:55 PM
Yes I know it doesn't mean all of Spain is racist. That be totally stereotypical and stupid but you do have a problem with racism IMO.

Anyway I'm not starting an arguement about it. I already have had one with another Spanish poster and it sort of got boring and pointless after a while :o

Kart
Apr 22nd, 2005, 11:06 PM
Good thread for Spain, bad one for the pope.

Central
Apr 23rd, 2005, 03:45 PM
Yes I know it doesn't mean all of Spain is racist. That be totally stereotypical and stupid but you do have a problem with racism IMO.

Anyway I'm not starting an arguement about it. I already have had one with another Spanish poster and it sort of got boring and pointless after a while :o
I reckon that poster might be me :D

The point is: Should I say all English people are homophobic just because you were wondering about Gay marriage? ;)
i don't, btw :o

Bероника
Apr 23rd, 2005, 04:11 PM
Finally

Scotso
Apr 23rd, 2005, 05:51 PM
Viva España!

DevilishAttitude
Apr 23rd, 2005, 08:58 PM
Actually I was talking about someone else but remembering I did arge with you yeah :lol: ;)

OUT!
Apr 24th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Gay marriage. Why.

And Spain clearly needs to sort out it's racism problems before you could call it a perfect country :rolleyes:
:worship: :worship: :worship:

Was thinking exactly the same thing - that place is far from perfect. In terns of race relations, give me the UK any day. :D