A clause likening same-sex marriage to a union between men and animals has been removed from a draft report compiled by a judicial oversight board that advises the Spanish government, officials said Wednesday. The Socialist government last month approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriages, and the parliament is expected to debate it next month. If the bill passes, Spain would become only the third country to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Belgium and the Netherlands.
A five-member committee of the judicial watchdog agency, the General Council of the Judiciary, on Tuesday released a draft--a nonbinding report--that said legalizing gay marriage in Spain would be a "radical change" comparable to "using the term marriage for a union of more than two people or a union between a man and an animal." Three conservatives who sit on the panel approved the report while two members, representing the ruling Socialist Party, voted against it. The president of the council, Francisco Jose Hernando, said those three conservatives have now agreed to remove the reference to animals, called the comparison "absurd," and apologized. The council is to vote on the committee report on January 26.