.- A judge in Alicante, Spain, is refusing to âmarryâ a lesbian couple and has filed a legal challenge against the reform of Spainâs Civil Code allowing same-sex couples to contract âmarriage.â If the case reaches Spainâs Constitutional Court, that body could reverse the new law. Judge Laura Alabau of the city of Denia in southwestern Spain is challenging the constitutionality of the new law, saying it violates article 32 of the countryâs Constitution, which says, âMen and women have the right to contract marriage with full juridical equality.â
This phrase was identical to a statute in the Civil Code, which after the recent changes now reads, âMarriage shall have the same requirements and effects whether both parties are of the same or of the opposite sex.â
Alabau is the first judge in Spain to refuse to preside at gay âmarriages. She has based her right to refuse on article 163 of the Spanish Constitution, which allows judges to file constitutional challenges.
The leading opposition party in Spain, the Partido Popular, is also considering a challenge to the new lawâs constitutionality. In order to initiate such a proceeding, the party would need 50 senators or representatives to vote in favor. Such a vote is all but guaranteed as more than 143 representatives and 131 senators voted against the legalization of same-sex âmarriage.â