.- Spainâs parliament approved a measure legalizing gay unions today, setting aside a veto of the bill by the Senate. The new law makes gay unions equivalent to marriage and gives same-sex partners the possibility of adopting children. Despite wide opposition to the measure from pro-family groups and the Church, legislators, led by the countryâs Socialist party, approved the law by a vote of 187 to 147.
Spain now becomes the third country in the world to grant official legal status to homosexual unions, with an increasingly liberal and anti-family government.
Gay âmarriageâ was one of the Socialist Partyâs campaign promises, and homosexuals will be able to âmarryâ as soon as the law is published in the Official State Bulletin within the next several days.
Last week the Senate rejected the bill after a massive protest of more than a million Spaniards in Madrid. But it is an advisory body and final say on legislation rests with the Congress of Deputies
Before the vote, President Jose Luis Zapatero proclaimed victory. ``We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality,'' he told the chamber.
Conservative party members said they would appeal the decision to the Constitutional Court.