Mariano Rajoy, the president of Spain's
Partido Popular (People's Party), says the country's gay marriage law
Rajoy is vying to become the nation's
next prime minister, a post currently held since 2004 by Jose Luis
Rodriguez Zapatero, a member of the socialist party. Spaniards will
decide on a new leader in 2012.
In an interview Sunday with El Pais,
the conservative leader said he does not like the gay marriage law
approved by the socialist government in 2005. His party filed a
constitutional challenge to the law at its approval.
“I will listen very carefully to the
arguments of the Constitutional Court and the people, but I do not
like the homosexual marriage act, and I do not think it is
constitutional,” he said. “My disagreement is about the use of
the word marriage.”
Gay rights groups called Rajoy's
“His words are a clear example of the
power in Spain of the Catholic Church, Opus Dei, and PP's homophobia.
Homophobia disguised as liberal conservatism,” Tony Poveda,
president of Federacion Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y
Bisexuales (FELGTB), Spain's largest gay rights advocate, said.
A 2008 study found that a majority
(66%) of Spaniards approve of the law. In its first three years,
over 12,000 gay and lesbian marriages were celebrated.