Ten years ago, as Spain became only the third country in the world to legalize gay marriage, one stubborn voice loudly proclaimed its opposition.
“Marriage has always been an institution between a man and a woman,” Mariano Rajoy, then leader of the opposition, said in 2005.
Not only did Rajoy broadcast his opposition, despite the majority of Spaniards supporting gay marriage he took the issue to the country’s Constitutional Court, where he lodged an appeal shortly after the law was brought in by the ruling Socialist party in 2005.
In the appeal, which was eventually voted down by eight votes to three, Rajoy said that the new law “perverts the basic institution of marriage”.
The Prime Minister’s words have come back to haunt him this week as he faces the prospect of attending the gay wedding of his colleague and close friend, Javier Maroto, an under-Secretary within the Popular Party and former mayor of the city of Vitoria.
Maroto, 43, will marry his long-term partner, Josema Rodríguez on Friday September 18th in Vitoria, the capital of the Basque Country.
Spanish media has been awash with speculation over whether or not Rajoy will attend the wedding, after reportedly being warned by various colleagues that attending would not be in line with his stance on gay marriage.
Spain’s Interior Minister, Jorge Fernández Diaz, is against Rajoy attending the wedding, according to El Mundo, while Maroto himself has played down the importance of the Prime Minister attending his wedding, telling Spanish media that Rajoy had a lot on his plate “right in the middle of an election campaign” and so would understand if he could not attend.
But sources close to the Prime Minister have confirmed that it is “99 percent sure” he will attend the wedding:
“Javier is more than a colleague, he is a great friend,” the source told El Mundo.
Andrea Levy, who is on the Popular Party’s campaign team in Catalonia in the run up to the 2015 general election, confirmed on Tuesday morning that not only would Rajoy attend the wedding, but that he would be one of the witnesses.
Speaking on El Programa de Ana Rosa on television channel, Telecinco, Levy confirmed that Rajoy would be attending the wedding, as would she, where she expected to “have a great time”.