► Law to protect LGBTI families from discrimination, provides for sanctions ►
In its last legislative session of 2017, Andalucia’s regional Parliament is set to unanimously approve new landmark legislation strengthening the rights of the LGBTI community in Spain’s southernmost autonomous community and providing for sanctions against individuals and entities that violate those rights, discriminate against or incite hateful behavior towards LGBTI individuals and their family members.
Passage of the new law, jointly proposed in June by the Andalucian Socialist party (PSOE-A), the Andalucian affiliate of Podemos and the IULV-CA (United Left/Greens–Assembly for Andalucia) parliamentary group, will mark the first time in Spain that a regional parliament has passed legislation that also guarantees the rights, equal treatment and non-discrimination against the children of LGBTI parents, whether single-parents or married couples, and provides for sanctions against those who violate the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-sexual individuals or their family members.
The path to approval for the Andalucian law was long and arduous. It included pressure from the community’s LGBTI community on both the Socialists and Podemos to drop separate partisan initiatives in favor of a joint legislative proposal that would enable Socialist regional President Susana Diaz to navigate approval of the bill around her delicate governing alliance in Andalucia with the centre-right Ciudadanos party. After amendments to the bill and negotiations with all parties, the legislative proposal then passed the regional parliament’s Equality Commission with the votes of all parties represented, including Ciudadanos and the conservative Partido Popular (PP).
The new law has received unanimous political support in part because proponents agreed not to attempt to tackle modification of the Criminal Code in Andalucia, but instead push for implementation of a new series of administrative sanctions designed to guarantee LGTBI rights in the areas of public administration, the education system, health- and elderly care, as well as within private companies and other organizations. The legislation is seen as an important step forward toward changing traditional social attitudes toward LGBTI people in a region that government figures show continues to experience one of the highest incidents of discrimination and homophobic attacks per year of anywhere in Spain.