I come from Galicia, a small region in the north-west corner of Spain. Because I am Spanish to most non-Spanish people, I often get asked questions about catholicism and religion in Spain. It seems that many non-Spanish people think of Spain as a country dominated by religion and, specifically, the Catholic Church. Sometimes, I find that people just assumes that I come from a strongly religious environment and therefore I must be religious. I feel the personal urge to debunk this myth, and I actually enjoy doing it. I must admit, though, that Spain has achieved this image because of some well-deserved facts. Most often than not, I feel embarrased and ashamed of coming from Galicia (which, after all, is part of today’s Spain) and being associated with reactionary and intolerant ideas.
However, something is going on in Spain that makes me feel a bit proud. A law will be passed tomorrow that will give homosexual couples the same civil rights as heterosexual couples. That means that homosexual couples will be able to get married, adopt children and inherit from each other, for example.
What? In Spain? In such a religious country? Oh well… Perhaps Spain is not that religious.
Some months ago, the Catholic Church launched a campaign to aggresively fight against this horrendous violation of moral. They published a document titled “Man and Woman He Created Them” (my translation) and used 6-year-olds to collect signatures against the above mentioned law. They have gone as far as putting homosexuality in the same list together with murder, and declared publicly that “homosexuality is always against moral well doing” (again, my translation).
This has served two purposes. First of all, millions of Spaniards (plus people from other places, I imagine) have laughed out loud at such ridiculous statements and tricks. We have laughed out loud while realising that this is a serious issue. Secondly, it has led the Green Party of Spain to demand the Church in front of the National Attorney Office, claiming that the Church, in their public statements, have fostered hatred against the homosexual community, which goes straight against the formally characterised crime of homophobia as far as the Spanish Penal Act is concerned. You can find more information on this, for example, in today’s issue of El Pais.
We will see what the National Attorney Office do with this demand. But the law will most likely be passed tomorrow, and the Church will have to shout louder because gays and lesbians will start getting married and adopting children soon.
In Spain, this old-fashioned, Catholic country where they just dance flamenco and drink sangria.