(Madrid) Spain's highest court has, for the
time being, upheld
the constitutionality of a law allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Two regional judges had challenged the validity
of the law, arguing in separate cases that it violated the country's constitution.
In a split decision by the Constitutional Court
the two cases were rejected, but only on procedural grounds.
However, another challenge to the
law, by the opposition Popular Party, has not been considered by the High Court
yet. The court said it will hear arguments in the case at a later date.
In the meantime, the two judges who
challenged the law will be required to perform same-sex marriages.
Judge Francisco Garcia, from Gran
Canaria, had refused to register same-sex marriages until the court ruled.
"Heterosexuality is the fundamental and
identifying element of the institution of marriage," Garcia told to the
Spanish news agency Efe when he filed the suit. (story)
In July, a judge in the southern town of Alicante also asked for a ruling for
the Constitutional Court. (story)
The court has not said when it will
hear the case brought by the Popular Party.
In June Spain became the third
country in the world to legalize gay marriage (story),
after the Netherlands and Belgium. Shortly after that Canada legalized
same-sex marriage. Earlier this month the Constitutional Court in South Africa,
ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny gay and lesbian couples the right to
Spain's Popular Party led the
attack on same-sex marriage in Parliament. At Senate committee hearings
the party produced a psychology professor at Madrid's Catholic university who
called homosexuality a "disease" and said that gay adoption would turn
children gay. (story)
In the weeks that led up to the historic vote the
party and the Catholic Church mounted a rally in Madrid that attracted thousands
of people. (story)