Spain became the third country that legalized same-sex marriages on Thursday in a measure that will give same-sex couples the right to adopt children, as well as the rights of heterosexual couples, such as inheritance of property.
The vote of 158-133 was passed by the Congress of Deputies, with four abstentions.
The legislation says, “Matrimony shall have the same requirements and effects regardless of whether the persons involved are of the same or different sex.”
Immediately following the official publishing of this law into the government registry, same-sex couples can get married, as early as two weeks, said parliament’s press office.
In reference to the gay marriages, the Spanish Bishop Conference said, “Marriage, understood as the union of a man and a woman, is no longer provided for in our laws.”
This also referred to a reformed divorce law passed Wednesday where Spaniards will have no mandatory period of separation and where they no longer have to state why the marriage failed, a requirement under the old legislation.
Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is also pushing the legislature to allow stem-cell research, which will cause an uproar for pro-lifers.
A poll showed that 80 percent of Spaniards considered themselves Catholic, but
half don’t attend mass, and some have stated that they aren’t even religious, according to AP.
Other countries that allow same-sex marriages are the Netherlands and Belgium, with Canada on it’s way to becoming the fourth country. The Netherlands allow same-sex couples to adopt, with Belgium in consideration of this option.
At the end of July, the Canadian legislature will decide on whether they will legalize gay marriages. One liberal Cabinet member in Canada, Joe Comuzzi, abandoned his post as northern Ontario economic development minister in order to vote against this legislation.
Two weeks ago in Madrid, breaking a tradition that they would not protest for political affairs, Spain’s Conference of Catholic Bishops took part in a march that brought hundreds and thousands of people to protest this legislation. Moreover, Catholic leaders and some Vatican officials, who are in strong opposition, believe that this law corrupts the meaning of marriage and will damage social stability.