Next month’s general elections threaten to undo Spain’s 6-year-old gay marriage law.
The Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, which swept into office in 2004, looks to be on the outs. Polling shows the conservative Popular Party (PP) with a 15-point lead over Socialists.
Zapatero’s government legalized gay marriage over the objections of the Catholic Church and the PP, which filed a legal challenged to the law based on technical grounds.
Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the PP, has previously said he believes the law is unconstitutional and that he would “change” it even if the nation’s highest court ruled it constitutional.
“I will listen to the court, but I don’t like the fact that there is gay marriage and I don’t think it is constitutional,” he told daily El Pais. “What I don’t like is the word ‘marriage.’”
While repeal of the law seems doubtful, gay and lesbian couples in the country are taking the threat seriously. In the past several months, a sharp uptick in the number of couples marrying has been reported in the Spanish press.