Spanish MPs Approve Gay Marriages in June 2005Monday, July 26 2010
The Bill Has Public Support in Spain
Spain's lower house of parliament has voted in favour of allowing gay couples to marry and adopt children. The controversial decision overrules last week's rejection of the bill by the upper house, the Senate.
The bill will become law in a month's time, making Spain Europe's third nation after the Netherlands and Belgium to allow same sex marriages.
A Roman Catholic group had presented MPs with a 600,000-signature petition opposing the legislation, and catholic leaders have compared the bill to releasing a virus into society. Public opinion polls suggest that: although the majority of Spaniards describe themselves as Catholic, they are in favour of gay marriages.
The new law puts same-sex and heterosexual marriages on the same legal footing, including the right to adopt children.
About 5,000 gay couples in Spain have already announced they are queuing up to get married.
BBC News 30/Jun/05