Same-sex marriage upheld by Spain's highest court
MADRID (REUTERS) - Spain's highest court upheld the country's gay marriage law on Tuesday, rejecting an appeal lodged by the ruling People's Party seven years ago and confirming the legality of same-sex unions.
By the end of last year, more than 21,000 same-sex couples had tied the knot since Spain became the fourth country in the world to legalise gay marriage in July 2005.
Eight of the Constitutional Court's 11 judges voted in favour of the law, the court said in a statement, adding that the full ruling will be published in the next few days. Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said the government would respect the decision and leave the law as it stands.
"We're very, very pleased and particularly that the decision was 8-3 and not a close 6-5," Jesus Generelo, general secretary of the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB), said. "I think it is clear that gay marriage is now a part of our society." The law, introduced by the former government of Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, was challenged in court by the People's Party (PP).