• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Catalonia passes divisive anti-homophobia law

Alex Dunham · 3 Oct 2014, 10:53

Published: 03 Oct 2014 10:53 GMT+02:00

The vote received the backing of left-wing groups but was opposed by Catalan nationalists Unió and regional representatives of Spain’s ruling conservative Popular Party (PP).

The latter are against aspects of the bill which place emphasis on “positive discrimination” and a clause which states that the person accused of homophobia will have to prove his or her innocence, rather than being presumed innocent until proven guilty as is usually the case.

"Why isn't there an anti-discrimination law for immigrants or ethnic minorities?" argued PP spokesperson Dolors López, according to the Spanish edition of the Huffington Post.

"You can’t come up with a specific law for every group suffering discrimination.

"This law grants the LGBT collective an extraordinary system of protection that other groups don’t enjoy."

The PP spokesperson was also referring to the fact that the legislation will force Catalan authorities to receive the guidance of the Catalan LGBT Council, a decision her party claims will "step on the toes of the state and its powers over penal matters".

But despite all the opposition from Spain’s ruling conservatives, Catalonia has set a worldwide precedent in the fight against homophobia.

“Without fines, this law would be a mere statement of intent. It’s meant to act as deterrent,” left-wing ERC politician Anna Simó told Spanish daily El País of the €14,000 fines.

Story continues below…

David Company of Initiative for Catalonia Greens also argued that the law isn't “a privilege for gays, it reinforces the rights of minorities”. 

Spain is one of the more progressive countries in the world on gay rights. The country legalized gay marriage in 2005 under the former Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.     

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain court jails five over deadly Halloween stampede
The stampede occured at a party at Madrid Arena in 2012. Photo: Dominique Faget / AFP

A Spanish court on Tuesday jailed five men over the stampede deaths of five young women at an overcrowded Halloween event they organised in 2012.

Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Sienna Brown launched Las Morenas de España after making the move from NYC. Photo: Jenny Peñas

Moving from New York City to southern Spain may not sound like a great career move. But Sienna Brown, founder of Las Morenas de España, explains why it was the best professional shift she could have ever made.

Eta calls for peace agreement similar to Colombia's
A mural in praise of Eta in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Basque separatist group Eta criticised Spain and France on Tuesday for failing to reach the kind of peace agreement with it that Colombia did with the leftist FARC rebel force.

Spain's Ferrari Land unveils fastest rollercoaster in Europe
Ferrari Land will open next April. Photo: ParkAventura

Ferrari is to open an adventure park in Catalonia promising thrill seekers the ride of a lifetime on the highest and fastest rollercoaster in Europe.

Socialists under pressure to allow PP to form government
Sanchez has so far refused to back Rajoy. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialist leader faces mounting pressure to let acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy form a new government and end a months-long political impasse.

Socialists lose support but still refuse to back Rajoy govt
"The 'no' to Mr Rajoy... has never been more justified," said Pedro Sanchez. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialist leader is standing by his refusal to let conservative acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy form a new government.

The Local list
Ten facts you probably didn't know about Spanish wine
Spain is the biggest exporter of wine in the world. Photo: LexnGer/Flickr

As the wine harvest gets well underway across Spain, The Local celebrates the nation's favourite tipple with some little known facts.

Two jihadists held in Spain for plotting terrorist attacks
The men were inspired by Isis to plan the attacks. Photo: AFP

Spanish police have arrested two men accused of plotting to carry out an Isis-inspired attack in Europe.

Voter posts christening gift instead of ballot paper
He mistakenly handed in an envelope containing a christening gift. Photo: AFP

A voter from Galicia mistakenly posted a €200 christening gift in the ballot box instead of his voting slip.

Ex-IMF boss Rato goes on trial over bankers' luxury sprees
Rodrigo Rato pictured in April 2015. Photo: AFP

Former IMF chief and 64 other former bank executives go on trial for racking up huge expenses while in charge of a bailed out bank.

National
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
International
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
National
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
National
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
International
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
Travel
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
International
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Technology
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
National
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
Society
Pregnant woman in niqab attacked by two men in Spain
National
Spanish café offers cut-price coffee to those with manners
Travel
What's on in Spain: September 2016
Travel
'We drank from animal troughs to survive'
National
Forest fires threaten Costa Blanca resort of Jávea
National
Loyal dog mounts vigil at hospital doors for sick owner
Politics
Five reasons why Spain's Socialists won't back Rajoy
National
It's a girl! Rare giant panda cub born in Madrid zoo
Culture
La Tomatina: Everything you need to know about epic fiesta
National
Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Politics
What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
Features
Eight reasons to spend your gap year exploring Spain
3,156
jobs available