Today I fly off to Malgrat De Mar in Spain for my summer holiday, and its got me thinking about the same sex marriage debate.
Here in the UK legislation to allow same sex couples to marry is continuing to make its way through our political process, the latest steps took place on Monday and Tuesday.
Spain was the third country in the World to allow same sex marriages, introducing legislation in July 2004, which came into force in July 2005 and reportedly had the support of 66% of the population.
This certainly makes a change from other areas of the world I have visited, including Barbados, where you can still face life imprisonment for “homosexual acts”, though it is said to be rarely enforced.
The number of same sex marriages happening in Spain has been steady since 2005, with up to 4,500 each year at its highest point in 2006 and 3,250 at its lowest in 2007.
Before them the Netherlands and Belgium had both legalised equal marriage and 17 days after Spain, Canada made same sex marriage legal. The state of play right now across the world is that 13 countries allow same sex couples to marry, along with 12 states in America.
I can’t help but wonder why it has taken so long in the United Kingdom, since we are now nearly a decade (8 years) behind Spain and over a decade (12 years) behind the Netherlands in terms of equal marriage.
It should be noted that same sex couples have been able to enjoy Civil Partnerships for a long time in the UK, but those campaigning for equality argue that’s not enough.
At any rate its time to pack…its the first time I’ve visited a country that actually has same sex marriage! Hopefully that rarity will be something of the past in the years to come.