Spain's new prime minister promises civil unions law

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.

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