• Law prohibits & sanctions discrimination, mandates sexual-diversity education
• Proposed by governing PP, law backed by all parties across political spectrum
Spain’s newest law against homophobic discrimination and in favor of sexual diversity and an individual’s right to choose and express their sexual identity was passed last week by the regional parliament of the community of Madrid in a unanimous vote, with only two lawmakers absent from the final vote in the regional assembly.
Initially proposed by the governing conservative Partido Popular (PP) in the Madrid autonomous community, the new law underwent months of debate and 138 amendments — 76 of those proposed by the opposition Socialist party (PSOE) — before being agreed to by all parties. The new law requires all public and private secondary schools throughout the Madrid region to provide basic education about sexual diversity, while imposing legal sanctions on those who discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sexuality or who are in a position to halt such discrimination, but do not take preventive action.
The Madrid law is seen as landmark legislation for Spain, since it was proposed by a party traditionally aligned with Spain’s majority Catholic church and ultimately received support for passage from all parties across the political spectrum. LGBT-rights activists also see the Madrid law as reinforcing similar laws against homophobia and discrimination against Spain’s LGBT community that already are on the books in the regions of Catalonia, Extremadura, Murcia, the Balearic Islands and Galicia.