Spain: Dear America, Some advice from a country where gay marriage has been legal for a decade

In the summer of 2005, the socialist Spanish government legalized gay marriage in Spain. My overwhelmingly Catholic country, with a legacy of a 40-year-old fascist dictatorship that even banned divorce, surprisingly became the third European Union member to authorize same-sex unions.

Ten years and around 28,000 couples married later, a whole generation of LGBT people has grown up. We have developed our sexual and family choices in an environment where we are as free to marry as we are to eschew marriage as an old-fashioned option. As many in the US celebrated legalizing same-sex marriage across the country, I counted myself lucky to have lived with this freedom for a decade.

Here’s some of what that decade has taught us in Spain’s LGBT community, and some takeaways for our US counterparts: Equality is a daily, unfinished fight; the focus should be on helping the next generations; law can help change ingrained attitudes—up to a point; & legal equality does not mean societal equality. Read More