The Spanish civil guard on Monday announced that it is changing its housing regulations to admit couples regardless of sexual orientation. The change comes after the civil guard last week received an unprecedented request from a guardsman asking that his gay partner be allowed to live in his barracks. The unidentified guardsman from Palma de Mallorca has gone on sick leave for a nervous breakdown caused by the huge media attention, the press reported on Monday.
Gay rights organizations and the civil guard union had protested the old regulation, which they called discriminatory, and the low wages that force the civil guard to live in barracks. The guardsman and his partner are registered as a couple with the Balearic Islands government, but the partner does not live in the barracks. The old rules governing barracks accommodations gave preference to spouses or families. With special authorization, a person who has "a stable emotional relationship analogous to marriage" with a guardsman could have been admitted.