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New Threat To Spain's Gay Marriage Law
by Malcolm Thornberry 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief

Posted: August 13, 2005  12:01 am ET










(Madrid) A second Spanish judge has asked for a ruling on same-sex marriage from the country's Constitutional Court.

Judge Francisco Garcia, from Gran Canaria, has refused to register three same-sex marriages saying the law which allows gay marriage is likely in violation of the Constitution.

Garcia said the Constitution specifically states that marriage is between a man and a woman.  He has asked the high court to declare the gay marriage law invalid.

"Heterosexuality is the fundamental and identifying element of the institution of marriage," Garcia told to the Spanish news agency Efe.

Last month a judge in the southern town of Alicante also asked for a ruling for the Constitutional Court. (story)

Judge Laura Alabau made the announcement in refusing to grant a license to a lesbian couple. Since them, she has blocked at least one other same-sex marriage.

The law granting gay and lesbian couples the right to marry passed Parliament in June. (story) It altered the definition of marriage in the Civil Code to read "Marriage shall have the same requirements and effects whether both parties are of the same or of the opposite sex."

If Spain's Constitutional Court decides to hear the case it has the power to nullify the new law.

Spain's major opposition party said it may join the constitutional challenge. The Partido Popular was the main opponent to the legislation in Parliament.

The government said it is confident the law will survive any constitutional challenge. On Wednesday, the justice ministry overturned a decision by a court in Catalonia that prevented foreign same-sex couples from marrying. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005


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