Gay Marriage in Spain Upheld After Constitutional Appeal

Spain’s highest court upheld a law legalizing same-sex marriage, ending a seven-year battle to overturn one of the biggest legislative victories of former Socialist Party Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

The Constitutional Court in an 8-3 ruling decided not to hear an appeal, the Madrid-based tribunal said yesterday in a statement.

The challenge was brought by more than 50 members of Congress belonging to the conservative People’s Party when it was in opposition. The party was voted into power in December, ending seven years of governance by Zapatero’s Socialists.

Gay marriage was legalized yesterday by voters in the U.S. states of Maine and Maryland, the first time same-sex unions have been endorsed at the ballot box in the U.S. It was leading in the state of Washington.

The Spanish justices will publish a full written opinion at a later date.

French President Francois Hollande’s government today introduced a bill to allow same-sex marriage, challenging religious leaders and the main opposition party. The proposal in the Cabinet meeting, one of Hollande’s campaign promises, will be debated in Parliament in January and February.

“This is a step forward toward equality, a step that had been delayed for too long,” a government spokeswoman, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, told a press conference in Paris.

(Updates with French proposal in sixth paragraph.)
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