Spain celebrates 10 years of same-sex marriage

Spain is celebrating ten years since it first allowed same-sex couples to tie the knot.

The country became one of the most progressive in Europe in 2005, when its newly-elected Socialist government moved to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.

The law was approved by 187 to 147 in the Spanish Parliament on on June 30 2005, and couples began to marry ten years ago this week, on July 11, 2005.

At the time it was just the third country in the world to legalise same-sex marriag, following the Netherlands and Belgium. Canada followed 17 days later.

Despite the fears of some Republicans in the United States of global devastation, Spain has not suffered particularly as a result of the policy.

A total of 31,610 same-sex couples have tied the knot in the country in the decade since weddings began – the first being Emilio Menendez and Carlos Baturin, who married after 30 years together.

After the right-wing People’s Party took power in 2011 on a platform of opposing marriage equality, it took the same-sex marriage law to the Constitutional Court in a bid to invalidate it. However, the court upheld the law the following year by an 8-3 vote.

Same-sex marriage has led to a shift in public opinion on the issue – with a 2013 Pew Research survey finding that 88 percent of Spaniards agree that society should accept homosexuality. Just 60 percent of Americans answered ‘yes’ in the same year.