Annual Review 2011
Access to goods and services
A gay couple that was invited into a bar at the Seville city fair was subsequently ejected by the owners when they began to dance together. The owners made homophobic statements, but the couple initially refused to leave and the police was called. Following the incident, a prominent consumer group asked the city to withdraw the bar’s licence, but Town Hall officials said that the owners were permitted to discriminate as it was his private property.
In January, concern was raised as the leader of the Popular Party (PP) indicated that they may seek to repeal the country’s law which allows marriage to all couples, should the party come to power in the 2012 elections. The elections were held in November 2011 and the PP won an absolute majority. The question of the law’s constitutionality was already pending before the Constitutional Court, in a case submitted by the PP, and at the end of 2011 the Party’s stated position was that it would respect the decision of the court on the matter. Some couples brought their weddings forward to make sure they were married before the elections as they were concerned what would happened if the PP won.
Freedom of expression
Four university students were arrested during a protest action against comments made by Roman Catholic Church representatives opposing human rights of women and LGBTIQ people. The action took place in the University Chapel at Madrid’s Complutense University which was chosen as a protest against the presence of a religious institution on the site of a secular university.
Participation in public/political life
The city of Barcelona erected a monument in Ciudadela Park to commemorate LGBT people persecuted throughout history, in particular those who suffered during the Franco dictatorship.
Sexual and reproductive rights
In April, a lesbian reported that she was denied fertility treatment because of her sexual orientation. She was told by her local hospital that the Regional Ministry had instructed them to deny fertility treatment to all single women and to lesbians. The Health Minister stated that the public healthcare system did not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation, and denied that she could have been refused treatment on that ground. The woman’s account is however not unique and the case has been taken up by the Lesbianas en accíon Platform.