Spain: Help Keep Partnership Bill from Coming Uncoupled

The governing Popular Party in Spain is maneuvering to prevent a domestic partnership bill from becoming law. A draft bill presently under consideration by the Parliament, and supported by Spanish gay and lesbian activists, was introduced by a parliamentary group (from the Canary Islands) called the Canary Coalition. The rightist governing party, however, has now introduced its own draft bill on cohabitations. Economically unfeasible and offering unwieldy definitions of partnership, the version is simply meant to bog proceedings down indefinitely in Parliament: Popular Party deputies anticipate that their proposal will divide the coalition supporting the Canary Coalition's draft law.

The crucial swing votes in deciding whether a domestic partnership bill passes, and which version will be approved, rest with a coalition of Catalan political parties called the CiU. To complicate matters, this coalition has introduced its own amendments to the Canary Coalition bill. These amendments would specify four different kinds of legally recognized cohabition: heterosexual marriage, homosexual couples, families living with aged persons, and cohabitations without sexual relations (e.g. roommates). The President of Fundación Triángulo, a national gay and lesbian group, says, "This is indeed a very remarkable move . . . Nonetheless our support for it is qualified, for the CiU has failed to define the rights to be granted to each of these types of cohabitations. We especially feel there is no material difference between heterosexual and homosexual couples, and the regulations for each should be the same."

Fundación Triángulo asks for letters to the Catalan Parliamentary group. The letters should urge the group to oppose the Popular Party's draft bill, and to support the Canary Coalition draft. They should also urge the group to ensure that legal provisions for heterosexual and homosexual couples are equal and identical.

Letters should be sent to:

Sr. D. Carles Campuzano
Grupo Parlamentario Catalán
Palacio de las Cortes
E­28014 Madrid

Send copies to:

Fundación Triángulo