LGBT web site for Iberia: http://www.gayiberia.com/home.html
2 Gays marry during pope’s Spain visit 7/06
3 Conservative mayor presides over gay wedding 7/06
4 Un botellazo por "maricón" 11/06
5 Mayor of Madrid gives exclusive interview to leading Spanish gay magazine 5/07
6 Boutique opens for Barcelona’s gay ‘brides’ 5/07
7 Spanish judge who denied lesbian woman custody of children to be probed 7/07
8 Barcelona walk helps fight against homophobic bullies 7/07
9 Film to depict gay love of two Spanish icons 10/07
10 Euro queer youth discuss gay-friendly schools 12/07
11 FCO confirms Spanish recognition of UK partnerships 12/07
12 Guia de Transexualidad y estudio sobre homosexualidad y mundo islamico 12/07
13 Priest sued over seminar ‘curing’ homosexuality 12/07
14 Spanish government defiant over Church attacks 1/08
15 Ambassador complains to Vatican about election statement 2/08
16 Spanish Prime Minister vows to defend gay rights 2/08
17 Punches, Burns And Knives Drive Young Girl From School 4/08
18 Spanish judge ordered to marry British gay couple 6/08
19 "Gay" circus premieres in Barcelona "Gay" circus premieres in Barcelona 6/08
20 How a gay Spanish mayor brought life back to his village 7/08
21 Hundreds of thousands attend Madrid Gay Pride parade 7/08
22 Queen of Spain speaks out against gay marriage 10/08
23 Spanish judge suspended over lesbian adoption bid 12/08
June 26, 2006 – EiTB – Euskadi,Spain
Spain sees first gay divorce a year after legalising marriage. Some 1,300 gay weddings have now taken place in Spain. The marriage legislation gives same-sex unions the same status as heterosexual ones, including inheritance rights and adoption. A year after legalising gay marriage, Spain is now seeing its first gay divorce, complete with a custody fight over the couple’s dogs, a newspaper reported on Monday.
The claimant is asking for the right to stay in the marital home and to take custody of their pets. The suit added that his ex-partner would be granted visiting rights to see the animals, a report on the Web site of newspaper El Mundo said. Council officials said divorce proceedings were private and would only confirm that the unnamed men were married in a Madrid suburb last October, three months after Spain became the fourth country to legalise same-sex marriages. The claimant said in a petition that he had dedicated his life to the relationship, giving up a modelling career and abandoning his dog hairdressing business to follow his partner who had found work in France.
Some 1,300 gay weddings have now taken place in Spain. The marriage legislation gives same-sex unions the same status as heterosexual ones, including inheritance rights and adoption, a plan that drew hundreds of thousands of Spaniards into streets to march both in favour and against. Meanwhile a steep rise in divorces has increased yet further since a new divorce law was introduced last year allowing easier divorce
July 9, 2006 – www.bangkokpost.com
Gays marry during pope’s Spain visit
Valencia (dpa) – A gay couple and a lesbian couple tied the knot Sunday in Valencia during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Spanish city. Jose Francisco Lamo and Luisa Notario pledged undying love to their respective partners as elsewhere in the city the pope said mass before a congregation of more than a million at the climax of his two-day visit to Catholic Spain. During the service he praised marriage between man and woman as "a great good for all humanity."
"It may not please the pope, but two families have been founded here," a spokesman for the Lambda gay association said. The marriages were celebrated in Valencia’s town hall. The timing was chosen specifically to criticise the church’s stance on sexual morality and to promote the "diversity of the family," according to Lambda. At an open-air mass in the city, Benedict said the family was based on the "insoluble marriage between man and woman" and helped humans relate to their children and community. Marriage was "a great good for all humanity," the pope reiterated at the airport, where he took leave of the royal couple and other dignitaries before leaving for Rome. Spain legalized gay marriages a year ago. Gay couples are also allowed to adopt children.
July 30, 2006 – www.euronews.net
Conservative mayor presides over gay wedding
The Mayor of Madrid has officiated at his first gay marriage – defying warnings from the Catholic Church that his action would be "in contradiction with the fundamental values of humanity". Mayor Albert Ruiz-Gallardon is himself a member of the right wing Popular Party and opposed to gay marriages – but agreed nevertheless to officiate at the ceremony on the grounds that laws had to be applied.
Gay marriage was introduced in Spain last year by the country’s socialist government and some 4500 gay couples have married under the new legislation. The Catholic church is fiercely opposed to the law, but Manuel Rodenas, one of those to tie the knot on Saturday, said that he’d received support from a number of priests and that that was all that counted for him. The new law also gives homosexual couples full rights to adopt children
November 21, 2006 – El Pais
Un botellazo por "maricón"
Un grupo de chicos ataca a una pareja de gays que iban del brazo en el centro de Madrid
Después de años dedicado al estudio de la homofobia, José Ignacio Pichardo la vivió el pasado viernes por la noche en sus propias carnes. Pichardo, de 35 años y "no muy alto", según su propia descripción, iba a tomar el metro con su pareja en una estación del centro de Madrid cuando fue atacado por tres chicos después de que se cogiera del brazo de su novio para bajar unas escaleras. Ayer, mientras esperaba para ver a un abogado del Servicio de Atención a Gays, Lesbianas y Transexuales de la Comunidad de Madrid, contaba la historia.
"La verdad es que no recuerdo nada. Todo lo que sé es porque me lo ha contado Jose, mi pareja", relataba ayer este investigador en Antropología en la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. En su parte de lesiones figuran múltiples contusiones, heridas por cortes en la cabeza y la cara, varios puntos en una oreja y "un chichón" en el lugar donde impactó una botella de güisqui, la primera arma que usaron los agresores. "También perdí la memoria inmediata, aunque me han dicho que eso es normal. Preguntaba qué me había pasado, y a los dos minutos volvía a pedir que me lo repitieran", cuenta.
"Curiosamente, llevaba la mochila llena de libros sobre cómo combatir la homofobia. Ellos hicieron de escudo cuando caí al suelo y empezaron a darme patadas y puñetazos en la espalda", dice Pichardo, quien precisamente fue uno de los autores del informe sobre la discriminación de los gays y lesbianas que presentó antes de verano el Colectivo de lesbianas, Gays y Transexuales de Madrid (Cogam). La agresión ocurrió a las 22.30, cuando Pichardo y su pareja volvían del cine. Al llegar a una plaza que hay frente a la estación de Príncipe Pío, cerca del Palacio Real, Pichardo, que tiene problemas en el talón de Aquiles, se cogió del brazo de su novio para bajar unas escaleras. "Entonces aparecieron tres jóvenes, que al grito de ‘maricones, bujarras y payasos’ nos atacaron", relata.
Pichardo cayó al suelo inconsciente, y los tres muchachos la emprendieron a patadas y puñetazos. "Fue todo muy rápido", relata Pichardo, quien reconstruye la historia con la ayuda de su pareja. "Cuando Jose me quitaba a uno de encima, me atacaba otro. Sólo pararon cuando mi chico echó mano a la mochila para sacar el móvil y llamar a la policía. Debieron pensar que iba a sacar otra cosa", cuenta el hombre. El activista gay desmiente que fueran "provocando" por la calle. "No íbamos del brazo, pero, aunque así fuera, no hay provocación en que dos hombres vayan agarrados. Sólo me cogí a Jose para bajar las escaleras", insiste. También quiere destacar que los agresores eran "normales". "Ni inmigrantes, ni gitanos, ni skins ni de ninguna minoría; que nadie se excuse eso para justificar el ataque", repetía ayer convencido.
"Si quieren buscar un culpable, que piensen en las personas que, con sus mensajes, incitan a la homofobia, como la Iglesia católica o el Partido Popular".
Pichardo (who remembers nothing of the attack except by what was related to him by his partner) and his partner Jose, (the former being the author of a report on discrimination of gays and lesbians who presented this past summer in Madrid). They were at a movie and due to a strain in the achilles heal of Pichardo he took the arm of his partner/fiance while walking down the stairs. They were then attacked and shouted at by three young guys…(not immigrants, gypsys or abnormals…just the usual ‘spanish guys’. (His main point I think) Pichardo thought if anyone was to do this it would be from some religious group (Catholics) or homophobes or political group "peoples’ group. "There was nothing to justify this attack on us".
The gist is that two guys carring books in their back pack were attacked by several young men with a bottle of Whisky…(botellazo) After he passed out they continued to kick and hit him while his partner tried to protect him. They were holding hands going down a stairway to the sub and that may have been the reason they were singled out. They finally left when his partner tried to retrieve a cell phone to call police… He believes they thought he was going for a gun.
May 11, 2007 – typicallyspanish.com
Mayor of Madrid gives exclusive interview to leading Spanish gay magazine
The Partido Popular Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, has followed the example set by the I.U. left-wing leader Gaspar Llamazares and the Prime Minister, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, by being interviewed, and being put on the cover of Spain’s leading gay magazine ‘Zero’. The magazine goes on sale on Monday, and it’s the first time that a PP politician has been highlighted in this way. Gallardón, a practicing Catholic, has officiated at gay weddings in the city and by doing so has departed from the official party line which does not support gay marriage. The PP appealed to the Constitutional Court against both gay marriage and adoption.
The Zero editor, Miguel Ángel López, said the magazine was informed that Gallardón was prepared to be interviewed, and that they placed the condition that he appear on the cover thinking that he would not accept. The interview took place in his offices in the City Hall. With the PP boycott of the Prisa media group still in place, the interview is one remaining way that the PP politician can get his opinions across to a generally left wing audience.
28 May 2007 – The Independent
Boutique opens for Barcelona’s gay ‘brides’
by Graham Keeley in Barcelona
It has all the trimmings of any luxury designer bridal shop – the only difference is that it is only for gay men. The shop, called By, which bills itself as the first in Europe to cater only for homosexual men, will open in Barcelona this week. Made-to-measure suits, some inlaid with 22 carat gold, will retail for between €1,500 (£1,000) and €6,000. Apart from traditional bridal suits, also on offer are a collection of rings, boxer shorts, bathrobes and other accessories by a collection of mainly Spanish designers for the big day. It will offer clients a tailor-made service for anything to make their weddings as special as anything which heterosexual couples might enjoy.
Santiago Porrero, the owner, said: "We saw there was a gap in the market for gay men though we are not only aiming for homosexuals. "It is called By because each person can have a unique creation by one of our designers. There will only be one of these suits in the world." The shop, in an area of Barcelona nicknamed "Gaycelona" because of the large number of businesses which target the homosexual community, is to open on 30 May. Its inauguration is timed to coincide with a fashion show called Barcelona Bride Week. Mr Porrero added: "What we offer can be as varied and original as a bride’s dress. You are now starting to see more traditional bridal shops offering something for gay couples, but it is only because they think they should."
He said he chose Barcelona because it’s an "open-minded and modern city, very linked to design and an important tourist destination for gays". Mr Porrero said he hopes some gay couples from Britain and other countries may travel to Barcelona to choose their outfits. The shop is to offer an express service to save them making repeat journeys. Same-gender marriages were approved by the Spanish parliament in this once staunchly Catholic and conservative country in 2005. Adoption by same-sex couples was also legalised at the same time. Mr Porrero, 32, a Mexican who graduated from the prestigious Esade business school in Barcelona, said that after the law was approved, he decided to launch the business.
"I saw the opportunity to do business after the law was approved. I didn’t know of any other country that had a shop or boutique for gay weddings," he said. "It was obvious that gays, who also marry, needed their own bride shop."
July 24, 2007 – International Herald Tribune
Spanish judge who denied lesbian woman custody of children to be probed
Madrid, Spain (from AP) – Spain’s judicial watchdog said Tuesday it is investigating a judge who denied a woman custody of her two daughters because she was a lesbian. "Children have a right to a father and a mother, but not to two mothers or two fathers," Fernando Ferrin Calamita, a judge in the southeastern city of Murcia, wrote in a custody case ruling last month. Ferrin said the mother, who was not identified, "must choose between her children and her new partner," according to leading Spanish daily El Pais and other media. The judge went on to order the mother to relinquish the children by the end of June and said the father — her former husband — should have custody. The couple divorced after the husband discovered the woman was a lesbian, the judge said.
"It is a homosexual atmosphere that harms minors and substantially increases the risk that they will turn that way too," the judge added. The judge’s decision goes against laws brought in by the government of Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2005 that allow for same-gender marriages and for same-sex couples to adopt children. On Monday, 15 women’s and gay groups filed a complaint before the General Council of the Judiciary, which oversees the judiciary in Spain. The body said it was investigating. The judge "can think what he likes, but he cannot dictate rules that go against the law," said Silvia Jaen, the Secretary General of the State Federation of Gays and Lesbians.
A lawyer for the father told El Pais his two children continued to live with their mother. In another case, Ferrin is allegedly trying to prevent a lesbian couple from adopting, news reports said. In 1987, the magistrate raised a storm when he ordered the arrest of two women for showing a "lack of respect" by sunbathing topless on a southern Spanish beach, although they were not breaking any law.
31st July 2007 – PinkNews
Barcelona walk helps fight against homophobic bullies
by PinkNews.co.uk writer
Stonewall supporters have raised more than £50,000 on the second Equality Walk in Barcelona. The 10km stroll earlier this month took in the sights of the Catalonian capital as part of a weekend of fun. It raised vital funds for Stonewall’s ongoing Education for All campaign to tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools. The walkers stayed at the award winning gay Axel Hotel, where they were treated to a lavish welcome party on Friday 13th. The walk and treasure hunt took place the following day and finished with a celebration party at a stunning private apartment.
The prize for top fundraiser was Tony Selimi, who raised an impressive £1,450. He won a fantastic trip to Iceland, kindly donated by Icelandair. Runner-up prizes went to Nigel Wrightson and Dave Dawson who both won a weekend stay at the Axel Hotel.
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, said: "We are enormously grateful to everyone who took part in this year’s Barcelona Walk. The cash we’ve raised will be a vital contribution towards our ongoing work to remove the threat of homophobic bullying that blights the lives of so many young people in Britain’s schools."
30th October 2007 – PinkNews.co.uk
Film to depict gay love of two Spanish icons
by Maryam Omidi
A gay love affair between two of Spain’s most celebrated creative luminaries, painter Salvador Dali and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, will be depicted in the new film, Little Ashes. Named after a Dali painting, the film chronicles the 18-year-old Dali’s arrival in Madrid in the 1920s and his subsequent friendship with the dramatist Lorca. As the relationship between the two intensifies, the sexually repressed artist is unable to consummate the affair and instead watches as Lorca sleeps with a female friend. This interpretation of events, by British screenwriter Philippa Goslett, has already sparked controversy among historians and biographers, many of whom deny that the pair’s relationship was anything but platonic.
Although their intimacy has been alleged, Dali repeatedly told interviewers that he rejected Lorca’s attempts to seduce him. "He was homosexual, as everyone knows, and madly in love with me," said Dali in an interview with French surrealist poet Alain Bosquet in 1969. "He tried to screw me twice. I was extremely annoyed, because I wasn’t homosexual, and I wasn’t interested in giving in. Besides, it hurts. So nothing came of it. But I felt awfully flattered vis-à-vis the prestige. Deep down I felt that he was a great poet and that I owe him a tiny bit of the Divine Dali’s asshole."
Goslett is nevertheless positive that their relationship did take a sexual turn. "Having done a huge amount of research, it’s clear something happened, no question," she said. Ian Gibson, a biographer of both Dali and Lorca is, however, sceptical. "It depends how you define as affair," he said. "He [Dali] was terrified of being touched by anyone, so I don’t think Lorca got far." The moustachioed eccentric will be portrayed by Robert Pattison, the 21-year-old actor who played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter films, while Lorca will be played by Spanish actor Javier Beltran.
6th December 2007 – PinkNews
Euro queer youth discuss gay-friendly schools
by Maryam Omidi
Today 100 young LGBT people from all over Europe are gathering in Málaga, Spain, for a three-day meeting of International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer Youth and Student Organisation. IGLYO member organisations will discuss the organisational priorities and strategies on advancing equality and human rights for LGBTQ young people. Euro MP Michael Cashman will be speaking at the event. He is President of the European Parliament Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights.
At the meeting new Guidelines for the development of more friendly schools for LGBT people will be launched. These guidelines will help school boards in making their schools more welcoming for all young people. "Whereas there is a good intention in many schools to help young marginalised people, there is often lacking awareness of the position of LGBT young people," said IGLYO board member Bruno Selun, responsible for the project. Because schools don’t see them, they think they don’t exist. The guidelines should help schools in both realising that LGBT pupils exist at each school, as well as taking measures that make these people feel at home and are protected."
IGLYO Chair Björn van Roozendaal added: "Europe can no longer wait with protecting young people in schools and universities from any form of discrimination. "Young LGBT people continue to be victims of bullying and discrimination and continue being deterred from treatment on an equal basis. If we want to count them as full European citizens, then we need to actively start protecting them today."
18th December 2007 – PinkNews
FCO confirms Spanish recognition of UK partnerships
by Tony Grew
The British government has published information on an embassy website confirming the new agreement between the UK and Spain regarding recognition of UK civil partnerships. Gay couple Paul and Martin Ward signed the civil partnership register in Devon on Valentine’s Day this year, having been advised that it would be recognised in Spain, where Paul lives. When they found out this was not the case, they began a campaign to receive recognition for their partnership, supported by MEPs Glenys Kinnock and Michael Cashman and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "The issue of Spanish recognition of UK civil partnerships affects many British nationals. Resolving it has been a priority for our diplomats in Spain. The case of the Wards gave us a concrete example to take up with the Spanish authorities. We have sought throughout to work in partnership with the Wards to obtain clarification from the Spanish authorities on the status of UK civil partnerships. We are pleased that, after only four months of high level engagement with the Spanish government, we have achieved a satisfactory outcome for those British nationals in Spain affected by this issue."
A page on the website of the British Embassy in Madrid states: "The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the British Embassy in Madrid in a Note Verbale dated 16th November 2007 that same-sex couples who have registered a civil partnership in the UK should be treated as spouses for legal purposes in Spain. Implementation of this guidance is a matter for the Spanish authorities. Copies of the Note Verbale can be made available to Spanish authorities on request. British Nationals living in Spain are responsible for ensuring their own local administrative arrangements comply with Spanish law. UK civil partners should consult a lawyer/accountant over any concerns relating to next of kin/property/inheritance tax/tax issues. British nationals wishing to obtain information about marriage or civil partnership must also contact the relevant local authority to be sure of the requirements that they need in order for their ceremony to go ahead."
Guia de Transexualidad y estudio sobre homosexualidad y mundo islamico
Aqui abajo puedes encontrar dos estudios interesantes de la organisación española Cogam (Colectivo de Lesbianas, Gais, transexuales y Bisexuales de Madrid). Si necesario, Cogam puede tambien enviar una copia.
"Guía de transexualidad para jóvenes y adolescentes" que Cogam piensa traducir a otros idiomas.
La Guia expone de forma sencilla los diversos aspectos que conforman la vida de estas personas y explica, entre orras cosas, que es la transexualidad. Para llegar a esta guia, comprueban en la página de COGAM www.cogam.es , luego a transexualidad (en el listado de la izquierda), luego a documentos y la primera opción. El enlace directo es este:
"Estudio sociológico y jurídico sobre homosexualidad y mundo islámico" (en España) El estudio jurídico hace un repaso histórico y actual de la reglamentación sobre la sexualidad no normativa en los países islámicos, haciendo un recorrido por las legislaciones de estos países en lo referente a la homosexualidad y la transexualidad. El estudio sociológico plantea el análisis del discurso de varias personas homosexuales, bisexuales y transexuales a partir de unas entrevistas en las que narran parte de su vida. A la pagina 24 puedes encontrar tambien las motivaciónes por que este estudio no incluye a ninguna lesbiana.
En cuanto a lo de cómo encontrar el estudio sobre el Islam, es entrado en COGAM, luego en Derechos Humanos, luego en documentación y en los documentos el segundo que es "texto completo del estudio sociológico y jurídico sobre homosexualidad y mundo islámico" y pinchas allí y sale en PDF. El enlace directo es éste:
Buena lectura en este fin de año.
December 28, 2007 – The Guardian
Priest sued over seminar ‘curing’ homosexuality
by Mike Elkin in Madrid
A Spanish clergyman is to be investigated after complaints that he is holding seminars which aim to "rehabilitate homosexuals". Protestant minister Marcos Zapata, head of an organisation running youth centres for troubled children in Galicia, prompted the row after reports surfaced of a recent seminar he led entitled "How to Raise Heterosexual Children". According to a journalist who attended the seminar, Zapata likened homosexuality to alcoholism and called it an illness, but said healing was possible through family therapy. In his family, he said, he reinforces masculine roles by watching professional wrestling with his two sons. Zapata also advised the audience to "hug your sons as much as you can, because if you don’t, perhaps another man will".
Yesterday the Galician regional government said it would investigate Zapata to make sure the youth centres his organisation runs do not employ "any type of proselytising or homophobic attitudes" when dealing with minors. Spain’s gay and lesbian groups are planning legal action.
"After so many legal victories in this country, and for the first time people are talking openly about homosexuality in schools, we have to deal with fundamentalist groups which take us back to the Franco dictatorship," said Toni Poveda, the president of the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals. "And of course we are going to try to stop this from happening. Sexual orientation is innate and there’s no way to change it." Despite progress against discrimination in Spain, several websites promote similar methods for "exorcising" homosexuality. Esposibleelcambio.org ("Change is possible") is run by Grupo Juan Pablo II, a lay group in Cadiz in southern Spain.
10th January 2008 – PinkNews
Spanish government defiant over Church attacks
by PinkNews.co.uk staff writer
The rift between church and state in Spain showed no signs of healing today after the country’s government said it would not accept "moral guardianship" from anyone. Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said that the Church could no longer impose its morality on the country. Last week the Prime Minister of Spain responded to Roman Catholic leaders after they criticised government policy supporting gay marriage, easier divorces and abortion.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero spoke out following comments made the previous Sunday in Madrid at a Catholic Church rally led by Cardinals and Bishops. Clearly angry, Mr Zapatero defended his government’s policies, saying they were supported by the "immense majority" of the Spanish population and that everyone had rights in Spain, whether they belonged to a religion or not. A spokesperson for Mr Zapatero’s PSOE Socialist party added that in a democratic environment there was no place for legislation regarding faith. Jose Blanco, secretary of the party’s federal executive, went further, referring to the Church hierarchy "and their lies" and reminding them that "lying is a sin."
In 2005 Spain legalised gay marriage.
Pope Benedict XVI addressed the rally on Sunday 30th December by a videolink from Rome. He told the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, that the family is "based on the unbreakable union of man and woman and represents the privileged environment where human life is welcomed and protected from the beginning to its natural end." The Archbishop of Mardid claimed that the government’s family policy was a retrograde step for human rights. The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005 and the main opposition party, Partido Popular, has said it does not intend to overturn it. However, some PP politicians have hinted they may "return" to the issue. The Socialists and PP are only a few percentage points apart in opinion polls. Many commentators have viewed the rally, which was supported by PP, as an attempt by the Church to affect the outcome of March’s general election.
4th February 2008 – PinkNews
Ambassador complains to Vatican about election statement
by PinkNews.co.uk staff writer
Spain’s ambassador to the Vatican met with Church officials over the weekend to protest about interference in the country’s elections by the country’s bishops. Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos revealed on Saturday that Ambassador Francisco Vazquez expressed his "perplexity and surprise" at statement issued last week by the Spanish Bishop’s Conference.
"Catholics may support and join different parties it is also true that not all (electoral) programmes are equally compatible with the faith and Christian demands in life," the bishops said. This was widely interpreted as an instruction to the faithful not to vote for parties that support gay marriage or negotiate with Basque terrorists. The Zapatero government introduced full gay marriage in Spain in 2005 and the main opposition party, Partido Popular, has said it does not intend to overturn it. However, some PP politicians have hinted they may "return" to the issue. The Socialist government reformed divorce laws and tried and failed to negotiate a peace agreement with terrorist group ETA in 2006.
The Socialists and PP are only a few percentage points apart in opinion polls. Elections for Spain’s parliament will be held on 9th March. Foreign Minister Moratinos said in a speech at the weekend: "We want to maintain a better level of relations with the Holy See, but we do not understand this posture." The rift between church and government in Spain shows no signs of healing. Last month Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said that the Church could no longer impose its morality on the country.
26th February 2008 – PinkNews
Spanish Prime Minister vows to defend gay rights
by Tony Grew
In an interview with a gay magazine, the leader of Spain’s Socialist party has promised to fight any attempt to remove or weaken gay rights laws he has introduced as Prime Minister. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th. During his four years in office he has legalised gay marriage and given same-sex couples the right to adopt. The lead up to the election has been marked by bad-tempered exchanges between the government and the Roman Catholic church. In his exclusive interview with gay magazine Zero Mr Zapatero said that the law and not the church ruled Spain. "We will make sure that not a single step backwards is taken on the land we have won," he said, adding that if re-elected he will bring in new laws to tackle homophobia.
The main opposition party Partido Popular declined to be interviewed for the magazine. Mariano Rajoy, who leads the conservative PP, has stated he is ready to take away the right to adopt from gay couples. PP has promised to establish a new "family" ministry if they win the elections next month and suggested that the "traditional family" needs extra protection. Despite their appeals to devout Spaniards and their conservative stance, PP has not indicated they intend to amend or abolish gay marriage should they come to power. However, some PP politicians have hinted they may "return" to the issue as they object to the use of the word ‘marriage.’
They have concentrated on proposing tax cuts for businesses and those on low incomes, while the government has pledged to create 1.6 million new jobs. Spain’s ambassador to the Vatican met with Church officials earlier this month to protest about interference in the elections by the country’s bishops. Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos revealed that Ambassador Francisco Vazquez expressed his "perplexity and surprise" at statement issued last week by the Spanish Bishop’s Conference. "Catholics may support and join different parties it is also true that not all (electoral) programmes are equally compatible with the faith and Christian demands in life," the bishops said.
This was widely interpreted as an instruction to the faithful not to vote for parties that support gay marriage or negotiate with Basque terrorists. At the end of December Pope Benedict XVI addressed a "family values" rally in Madrid by a videolink from Rome. He told the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, that the family is "based on the unbreakable union of man and woman and represents the privileged environment where human life is welcomed and protected from the beginning to its natural end." The rally was supported by PP.
Antonio Poveda, president of the Federation of Gays and Lesbians, has accused PP of open homophobia. "We’ve fought hard to achieve equal rights and are appalled by this party’s stated wish to turn the clock back to Spain’s repressive past," he said. Latest opinion polls from Angus Reid Global Monitor show 40.2% of respondents supporting Mr Zapatero’s Socialists, with 38.7% support for PP.
28th April, 2008 – samesame.com.au
Punches, Burns And Knives Drive Young Girl From School
by Christian Taylor
A 13 year old girl in Sabadell, near Barcelona, has had to change to a different school after being consistently attacked by fellow students because she’s a lesbian. According to police reports, the girl had been burned with cigarettes, punched and threatened with knives. While at the IES Vallès Institute, teachers had to let her leave classes early so she could get out of the building safely. She was also unable to go on school excursions because her safety couldn’t be guaranteed. The girl was outed by classmates late last year after they found a doodle in her exercise book – it was a drawing of a heart with two girls names inside.
Heart breaking experiences like this are happening in schools all around the world, which is why the National Day Of Silence took place in America last Friday. The event seemed to split some schools right down the middle. Mount Si High School in Seattle is one such case. More than one-third of students didn’t show up for classes that day and outside the school were noisy protests from about a hundred people, led by the Rev. Ken Hutcherson of the Antioch Bible Church. It’s amazing how many people will go out of their way to keep some groups marginalised.
June 14, 2008 – PinkNews
Spanish judge ordered to marry British gay couple
by Jane Rochstad Lim
A judge in the Denia region of Spain has been forced to marry a British gay couple she had previously refused. Laura Alabau was ordered by the government to wed the couple after the General Direction of the Registry ruled that there is no legal impediment to stop the British couple’s marriage being carried out. Famed as the first magistrate in Spain to make an appeal to the Constitutional Court against homosexual marriage, she has repeatedly refused to carry out same-sex marriages.
She first refused to issue a marriage licence to a lesbian couple in July 2005 and again in March last year with the British gay couple. She said that it was not appropriate for the British to wed in Spain, as the UK does not recognise same-sex marriages. Her appeal was thrown out on the basis that the judge was not competent to place the claim and was fined 305 euros (£240) for her prejudice. She has so far been labelled as a homophobic with calls for her to resign.
Alabau claims that she is a victim of persecution and is being used as a ‘vehicle for propaganda’, reports the Euroweekly news. Spain legalised same-sex marriage in 2005. However, two non-resident foreigners cannot marry in Spain, unless one or both of them are resident in the country.
June 20, 2008 – PinkNews
"Gay" circus premieres in Barcelona "Gay" circus premieres in Barcelona
by Tony Grew
Circus performance is the latest art form to be given a gay treatment with the creation of a "new notion of circus based on male and female acrobatics and oriented to a gay and lesbian friendly audience." Promoters describe the event, which has taken two years to prepare, as "a show for people without prejudices." The Gay Circus will premiere in Barcelona on July 25th, during the EuroGames.
"For the first time in the world, a circus created for lovers of high-quality shows and of a culture for the emotional and sexual diversity, a contribution to the normalisation of homosexuality," said promoter Irene Peralta. "Currently, we can find references to Gay Games, ballet performances, theatre, literature and cinema with a homosexual oriented thematic. However, there’s no previous circus conceived from a gay angle and which aims at a wider audience in favour of a greater visibility of homosexuality. Gay Circus will transform the traditional understanding of the circus."
The circus will perform nine two-hour shows in a big top that can hold 1,300 spectators. The promoters claimed that "expressiveness, sensuality and poetry will fuse … achieving an up-to-date, modern and attractive aesthetic. "Gay Circus flows like a dialogue between angels and devils, the eternal dispute between good and evil set now on a ring, with numerous references to literature, painting, dance, sculpture, photography, and cinema."
For more information on Gay Circus visit their website.
3 July 2008 – Independent.co.uk
How a gay Spanish mayor brought life back to his village
By Elizabeth Nash in Campillo de Ranas
As you push aside the foliage and descend the stone steps to Francisco Maroto’s house, a small rainbow-striped sticker by the door signals the revolution achieved in this tiny village north-east of Madrid. From the Spanish capital, you drive 78 miles across parched meseta and reach a verdant valley overshadowed by the Ocejon mountain, where slate-roofed houses dot the hillsides around Campillo de Ranas. Some are new, others restored, but they exude a prosperity rare among villages hereabouts, most of which are dying. Mr Maroto, 44, Campillo’s Socialist mayor, has bucked the trend of rural depopulation by promoting his village as a venue for weddings, particularly gay weddings.
Three years ago this week, Spain’s Socialist government passed a same-sex marriage law giving gay couples the same legal rights as heterosexuals. The ground-breaking measure broke the stereotype of Spain as a macho, Catholic nation. Since then 5,243 gay marriages have taken place in Spain, 3,675 between men and 1,568 between women. That’s more than 33 gay marriages a week, quite an advance for a country where 30 years ago homosexuals faced jail. Before 2005 no one had married in Campillo de Ranas for 35 years. Since 2005 Mr Maroto has conducted more than 100 weddings, 32 of them gay.
"At first my idea was to offer people the chance to get away from priests, and marry in beautiful, rural surroundings in a warm, civil ceremony. Then, when same-sex marriage became legal, many mayors refused to carry out homosexual weddings, but I said ‘I am gay and I’ll promote gay weddings on principle’," he says. That political gesture grew into a development opportunity as Campillo’s fame spread as a venue for original and relaxed, even outrageous, weddings. Mr Maroto has presided over a medieval-costumed wedding and a Lord of the Rings-themed wedding (dressed as Gandalf). Mr Maroto is not at home, but gladhanding runners in a half-marathon in the Ocejon foothills. Locals from seven hamlets in the municipality of Campillo (population 250) down beer and chorizo from trestles after a yomp across the hills.
"This village was seriously ill, dying, but now people are coming to live here," says Fernando Barbero, 58, a hillclimber and trade unionist. "It’s changed a lot. It used to be elitist, the local strongman decided everything. Now it’s more consensual. I completely approve our option for gay weddings. Even conservatives accept it as something normal, and a way to bring life back to the village."
Juana Hombrados, 82, a lifelong shepherd, beams as she joins her fitter neighbours. "Gay people have as much right to set up home and be happy as everyone else," she says. "I only became aware of homosexuals when my daughter Pilar started working for a fashion designer. Then I got to know Paco [Francisco Maroto] because he has sheep, and we coincided on the hillside." Mrs Hombrados’s daughter Pilar Peinado is deputy mayor, and conducted the wedding last month of Mr Maroto and his partner of 14 years, Quique Rodriguez.
Mr Maroto says: "I realised this could be a way to develop the village. Restaurants created wedding feasts for 200 guests. Guest houses booked out," he says. He has re-roofed Campillo’s church, re-opened the school after 30 years, and introduced mobile phone coverage. Weddings have saved his village.
July 5, 2008 – afp.google.com
Hundreds of thousands attend Madrid Gay Pride parade
Madrid (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of gays, lesbians and their supporters on Saturday took part in a colourful parade across Madrid, the capital of a country that has become a world leader in gay rights. Equality Minister Bibiano Aido led the parade of more than 30 floats, mostly related to gay bars and other businesses, but also one devoted to the Abba-themed musical "Mamma Mia", under a hot sun and to the beat of techno and Brazilian music. "It is a day of joy, to demand the rights of people and all citizens," said Aido.
The minister, 31, appears on the cover of the latest edition of Spanish gay monthly magazine Zero in a bright purple dress alongside a lesbian, a gay man and a transsexual as characters from the 1939 film "Wizard of Oz" which is popular with gays. Behind her in the parade were hundreds of lesbians in keeping with this year’s theme of "Lesbian Visibility." One large banner read "Lesbian, because I like it and because I want to be." Others said "Stop homophobia" and "No More Persecution."
"It’s beautiful, there is no other party like this in Madrid," David Ruiz, 33, from Mexico, said as a float passed behind him with a giant inflatable condom. It’s great not to feel like a minority for one day," said Ligia Fernandez, 47, a rainbow-coloured Gay Pride flag tied around her waist. Serge Castro, 42, from France, said the parade was much better than those in his own country. "It’s much bigger, more colourful, the people are having more fun."
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist Party float, a multi-coloured double-decker bus, had the slogan "Building Equality" splashed across it. Spain became only the third member of European Union, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to allow same-sex marriages in July 2005 with a law that also legalized adoptions by gays and lesbians. On the eve of the march, Zapatero defended his government’s decision to allow same-sex marriages, telling a Socialist party congress that it had provided "private happiness and public dignity" to thousands of Spaniards. But the measure has drawn the ire of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain and a section of the conservative opposition Popular Party.
At Saturday’s parade, many carried signs reading "Secular State." Homosexuality was legalized in Spain in 1979 shortly after the death of dictator Francisco Franco whose regime shipped off gays to institutions that some activists have likened to concentration camps.
October 30, 2008 – PinkNews
Queen of Spain speaks out against gay marriage
by Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk
Queen Sofia of Spain has caused outrage among gay groups after extracts from a new biography show she is hostile to gay people. The wife of King Juan Carlos, a cousin of the British Royal Family, questioned the need for Pride parades and criticised lesbian and gay couples for "dressing up" as bride and groom. Spain legalised gay marriage in 2005.
El Pais newspaper published extracts from The Queen Up Close yesterday: "I can understand, accept and respect that there are people of other sexual tendencies, but should they be proud to be gay? Should they ride on a parade float and come out in protests? If all of those of us who aren’t gay came out to protest we would halt traffic," the 69 year old Royal said. "If those people want to live together, dress up like bride and groom and marry, they could have a right to do so, or not, depending on the law of their country, but they should not call this matrimony, because it isn’t. There are many possible names: social contract, social union."
The Roman Catholic Church in Spain has been hostile to gay rights. At the end of December Pope Benedict XVI addressed a "family values" rally in Madrid by a videolink from Rome. He told the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, that the family is "based on the unbreakable union of man and woman and represents the privileged environment where human life is welcomed and protected from the beginning to its natural end."
Gay rights groups in Spain have criticised the Queen’s comments. "Many mothers of gays and lesbians are going to ask why the Queen understands that the Prince would marry a divorced woman, but she can’t understand why other mothers wouldn’t want that same happiness of marriage for their children," said the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays and Transsexuals president Antonio Poveda.
December 23, 2008 – Boston Herald
Spanish judge suspended over lesbian adoption bid
Madrid, Spain – A Spanish court says a judge has been suspended for attempting to thwart a woman’s effort to adopt her lesbian partner’s child.
The Superior Justice Court in the southeast Murcia region says it suspended Judge Fernando Ferrin Calamita for two years. The court also ordered the Catholic judge to pay the woman €6,000 ($8,400) in compensation.