For nearly forty years Spain along with its neighbor Portugal, was under the yoke of the last of the fascist Dictatorships, the long-dying Francisco Franco. Under Franco Spain was if nothing else the most outwardly catholic and conservative of nations -- a veritable Opus Die Fantasy Camp. Among the things that were illegal were:
Perhaps not surprising in a nation that had a history of conservative repression, think "Spanish Inquisition", mixed with foreign intervention from the Moors to Napolean. The left and right in Spain engaged in a death struggle in the 30s, with the Republic (the left) eventually losing out to the Nazi-backed Franco.
Thirty years ago, Franco died and Spain has grown more and more progressive in return.
Yesterday, Spain, following on the heels of Canada, approved Gay Marriage.
This was despite the strong opposition of the Catholic Church.
Telling are the polls which show that 7 out of 10 spaniards supported legalizing Gay Marriage.
This movement cannot be stopped, the right-wing surge is going to recede and this, and other progressive steps will come.
Let's hope it starts in 2006, I think it will.