This year saw many advances in the realm of LGBT rights across the world. Here in the United States our election brought forth gains in three states: Maryland, Washington and Maine. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, Spain was also doing their part to ensure that same-sex couples maintained all the rights afforded to opposite-sex couples. After seven years of tenuous existence, the gay-rights laws of the country were cemented via a ruling from the country’s Constitutional Court.
Laws regarding same-sex marriage rights were passed in Spain way back in 2005, but it was as a result of the struggle of one particular political party. When their opponents took control, they immediately made moves to challenge the law and get it repealed. Their argument was a familiar one - that their constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman only. But the courts in Spain rejected their appeal, so the law is allowed to stay.
Getting that initial law passed was a long-fought struggle in a country that is predominantly Roman Catholic. But the people of Spain spoke out, deciding that equality and rights were more important than religious beliefs and dogma.
With this challenge to their decision overcome, it will make it that much harder for future administrations to impose their own religious ideals upon the legal system. So same-sex couples in Spain are now able to rest a little more securely, knowing that their world is not likely to be turned upside-down because of someone’s political whim.
Since 2005, Spain has seen more than 22,000 same-sex marriages and will no doubt see many more in the future. With any luck, we can follow their example here in the U.S. and stop this pointless struggle to secure obvious human rights.