A law giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in Spain celebrates its seventh anniversary this week.

Socialists made good on their promise to legalize such unions with a final vote on June 30, 2005. The law took effect on Sunday, July 3, 2005, making Spain only the third country to legalize gay nuptials behind the Netherlands and Belgium. Canada followed suit 17 days later.

According to Europa Press, 18,214 gay couples have tied the knot under the law as of 2010. Of those, 578 have since divorced. Statistics compiled by the National Institute of Statistics (Instituto Nacional de Estdistica) show male couples outpaced female couples by nearly a 2 to 1 margin (12,015 to 6,199).

Immediately following passage of the law, the conservative Popular Party (PP) filed a legal challenge to the law in the country's Constitutional Court, which has yet to hand down its ruling.

The PP returned to power in elections held late last year. Party officials have said they would abide by the court's decision. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has previously stated that he disagrees with the law.

(Related: Spanish language regulator RAE “approves” gay marriage.)