Spain's new prime minister promises civil unions law
March 20 2004 1:00 AM ET
Spain will legalize gay unions, although it may not call them marriages, incoming prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Thursday, but he did not set a time frame for the move. "We are going to present a bill to set gay unions on the same footing as marriage," he said in an interview on Spain's Telecinco television channel. "From a semantic point of view, marriage may be a concept that does not cover this type of union, but it will have the same legal effects," he added. During the outgoing center-right government's two terms in office, opposition politicians in Spain, which is mainly Catholic, made several attempts to legalize same-sex marriage. Zapatero, who swept to a surprise victory in general elections on Sunday, made legalizing gay unions one of his campaign pledges.