Spain legalized gay marriage on Thursday, defying threats by the Catholic Church and the Spanish Family Forum, which presented lawmakers with a 600,000 signature petition against gay marriage in advance of the vote. The vote passed by a margin of 187-147.
Spain is now recognized as the fourth country, following Canada this week, to allow same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. With Spain’s marriage law comes equal inheritance and adoption rights for gays.
Prime Minister Zapataro said, “We are not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality…We are not legislating, ladies and gentlemen, for remote unknown people. We are expanding opportunities for the happiness of our neighbors, our work colleagues, our friends, our relatives.”