Mariano Rajoy, the president of Spain's
Partido Popular, has softened his stand against gay marriage.
In a November interview with daily El
Pais, Rajoy, who is vying to become the nation's next prime
minister in a contest to be held in early 2012, said he believes the
nation's 5-year-old gay marriage law is unconstitutional. His
conservative party has filed a constitutional challenge to the law.
“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.”
Rajoy wouldn't commit to keeping the
law even if the court upheld its constitutionality.
In a new televised interview released
Monday, the conservative leader backed off a bit, saying he would
consider the public's reaction to the ruling before deciding on the
“I'll await the resolution of the
Constitutional Court and then listen to the people,” he said.
Rajoy's earlier comments put gay rights
activists on alert.
Tony Poveda, president of Spain's
largest gay rights advocate, the Federacion Estatal de Lesbianas,
Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales (FELGTB), called Rajoy's words
“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,” he said.