Britain Recognizes Spain’s Civil Unions. How Come The Reverse Isn’t True?

“In Britain, Schedule 20 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 lists Spain as a country from where a same-sex marriage is to be recognized as equivalent to a British Civil Partnership. If a same-sex couple married in Spain move to Britain they have the right to deposit a copy of their Spanish Marriage Certificate with an official translation into English with the British General Registry office, although this is not compulsory and will not affect their rights to be treated as Civil Partners in Britain. […] In Spain, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed on 16th November 2007 in a “Nota Verbal” addressed to the British government that a British Civil Partnership is to be recognized for all legal purposes as equivalent to a Spanish same-sex marriage. However, there is no provision for a British Civil Partnership to be registered with the “Registro Civil” maintained by the Ministry of Justice in Spain.” [Benidorm Hotmale]

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  • Rob

    This illustrates one of the reasons we need marriage, not civil unions or domestic partnerships. A same-sex marriage done in one jurisdiction will automatically be recognized in other jurisdictions where same sex marriage is legal. This isn’t true of civil unions and domestic partnerships.

  • Zakakaka

    It´s very simple..Spain is on paper a very tolerant and progressive nation…in reality it is not, gay marriage is legal, but the paperwork and the red tape needed to get married in Spain is horrible, it´s so bad that many straight couples prefer to go somewhere else and get married abroad, and gay couples have to bite the bullet not only because of the bureaucracy but also because many government officials may refuse to perform a civil gay marriage, only residents can get married. Spain hasn´t recovered yet of over 40 years of extreme right-right government embodied in Francisco Franco. Spain has a lot of contradictory laws, and frequently disregard European Union legislation.

  • Bruno

    And the British LGBT community rejoices. See, that didn’t take long did it? Spain’s had marriage for what now? 3-4 years? But all along the UK LGBT community was getting “everything but the name.” Idiots.

  • atdleft

    @Zakakaka: I dunno. From what I understand, it’s more of a government problem than a people problem. The last poll I saw had Spanish support for marriage equality at 56% and plurality support for gay couple adoptions. Hopefully, Spanish PM Zapatero (who’s VERY supportive of LGBT civil rights) and British PM Brown can work on fixing this problem. (Hint, hint: How about the UK just making marriage equality happen?)

    @Rob: YES! This is the very same argument we’ve made in US states like California and New Jersey, where the NOMbies say we should be “satisfied with our ‘equal rights’ DPs/civil unions”. There’s never a guarantee that these DPs/civil unions will be recognized in other jurisdictions. I guess the EU must now deal with a similar problem of who recognizes which marriage/DP/civil union where.

  • luvrly

    Thats why you just go to somewhere like Denmark. They’ve had gay marriage since the early 90s. You know, around the time the US was just starting to allow gays to serve but only if they remained in the closet.

    And IRT Spain, I know one of the first people to get married happened to be two military personnel.

  • tavdy79

    @luvrly: Denmark has had Registered Partnerships since the late 80s.

  • luvrly


    Well there we go!! Even better!!! =)

  • Bill Perdue

    Spain does not have civil unions or civil partnerships because they’re a second class form or marriage for citizens considered unworthy of full civil rights by bigots like the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama.

    Only full marraige rights for same sex couples will do.

  • Alec

    @Bill Perdue: Why don’t the socialist countries of Cuba, Vietnam, etc. have same-sex marriage or civil unions?

    It seems like those nations can be accused of bigotry most foul. Even the evil, imperialist US has states that recognize same-sex marriage.

  • Patrick

    @Zakakaka: This is actually not true. I was married in Spain (to my Spanish husband) last year. It was an easy, dignified, and wonderful process. I am an American who is now a fully legal Spanish resident and can become a citizen next year if I choose. I was especially impressed with the local civil servants in the conservative northern city where we were married; they treated us with utter respect and warmth as just another married couple.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: wants to know “Why don’t the socialist countries of Cuba, Vietnam, etc. have same-sex marriage or civil unions?”

    Even a a reprobate apologist for American empire building and an immigrant basher like him should know the answer. It’s because they’re run by Stalinists.

    If you require further proof go there and check it out. Just keep your mouth shut about the Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs becasue they’re not too fond of supporters of US wars of agression.

    Your ceaseless attempts to endear yourself to the right wing administration of Obama, defending his every bigoted move, is just another indication of your close resemblance to Roy Cohn.

    Lawyers for the right sell out for peanuts, which is about what they’re worth in todays market.

  • atdleft

    @Bill Perdue: Well, I don’t know if I’ll call President Clinton or President Obama a “bigot”. I’ll just agree with you that Spain’s current center-left government has been FABULOUS in its support for LGBT civil rights! In just five years, Spain’s gone from a country still recovering from fascist tyranny to a nation at the forefront of civil rights, even more progressive than those other Western European governments (cough- WTF France, Germany, and the UK??- cough). :-)

  • Alec

    Even a a reprobate apologist for American empire building and an immigrant basher like him should know the answer. It’s because they’re run by Stalinists.

    OK. So what about Venezuela and Bolivia? Surely, there is an example of a state that is pursuing socialism (as opposed to a state headed by a “socialist” party that is, in reality, social democratic, and hence “reform” oriented and condemned by most Marxists, i.e., Spain) that affords its citizens equal rights? No?

    Well, this can’t be the result of a failure of socialism, surely, despite the admitted bigotry of the early Marxists.

    BTW, how am I an “immigrant basher”?

    Your ceaseless attempts to endear yourself to the right wing administration of Obama, defending his every bigoted move, is just another indication of your close resemblance to Roy Cohn.

    Hah. Yes, my opposition to his stance on DADT, the escalation in Afghanistan, the continued presence in Iraq, the military commissions, and various other policy proposals have certainly endeared me to his administration. My resemblance to Roy Cohn couldn’t be closer!

  • Bill Perdue

    @atdleft: When Bush defended his bigoted opposition to same sex marriage on religious grounds he was roundly and rightly denounced as a bigot.

    Obama torpedoed our chances for SSM when his infamous call to arms ‘gawd’s in the mix’ that brought out christian bigots to vote for Prop 8.

    Clinton went a bit further by championing DOMA and then boasting about it on redneck christian radio stations in the South. HE also signed DADT, caving to the right. The only times he had any courage was on issues like his championing the anti-union NAFTA, cutting welfare and championing deregulation.

    It doesn’t matter if all three acted for political expediency or if they actually heard sky pixies whispering in their ear that ssm was a sin. They oppose it.

    What would you call that except bigotry?

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: ,get a clue. Venezuela and Bolivia are capitalist countries. Neither has a socialist economic system or a revolutionary socialist party in power.

    One early Marxist, Engels was an ‘admitted’ bigot. All the leaders of the Democratic (sic) and Republican parties are bigots. And you devotedly support their bigotry by voting for them and asking others to vote for them. Most Democrats (sic) and Republicans voted for laws like DOMA and DADT. Obama is a chief offender whose “gawd’s in the mix” torpedoed our chances for same sex marriage.

    You’re an immigrant basher because you approve of the term ‘illegal immigrant’ to describe those fleeing the ravages of NAFTA.

    If you opposed Obama’s genocidal war you should have voted against him. Because you voted for him and his war you’re a rightwing supporter of his genocide. What could be more Roy Cohn than your hopeless accomidationism and hypocrisy?

  • Bill Perdue

    I am a complete and total douchebag

    Everyone hates me

    I poison this site with my stupid posts

  • Alec


    Yes, the use of the term “illegal immigrant” and “illegal immigration” (despite being objectively valid) is “immigrant bashing” even if one supports, as I do, open borders and full access to citizensip for those who are here….illegally. Right.

    I guess Noam Chomsky is a right wing supporter of his genocide, too.

    And yeah, it was President Obama who killed Proposition 8, and not those who financed and voted for it….right…

  • Anacletus


    Just because it was easy for you it doesn´t mean that it´s the same for everybody. I am from Argentina and lived in Spain two years, tried to marry my current spouse who is a German and lives permanently in Canadá, and at the Registro Civil in Madrid they were requesting “carta de empadronamiento” for both of us, those documents do not exist eiher in Germany or here in Canada, without those f%cking letters they would not accept the papers, we got fed up with so much crap and got married here in just two weeks. I couldn´t agree more with Zakakaka, Spain in theory is progressive, in reality most of Spaniards are still stuck in time…when Franco was alive.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Bill Perdue: On no the church lady, aka getsevenwithgaymen aka getreal still hates me.
    Whatever will I do?

    I know, I’ll continue to expose her as a bigot who’s empurpled with rage agaisnt gay men.

    Here’s the proof. Go to comment 7 where she baits tallskin, accusing him of being a pederast. Go down to comment 254. This is getsevenwithblackgaymen commenting on the plot of AA gay men to spread HIV/AIDs. It’s pretty sick stuff. You can tell from her comments that she’s not very successful at either converting or seducing gay men to her sick christer lifestyle.

  • getreal

    I invite anyone to read any of those threads anytime they are posted more people tell me they agree. I made the mistake of identifying as straight and became a target of a certain poster who hates all straights because of how some straights treated him in his childhood. So he attacks me a gay rights activist because he hates straight and christian people people like a klansman hates blacks.He actually also started attacking me when I identified as black so that may be part of it as well he doesn’t like jews either he says “zionists” must be defeated. Anyone who has grown up with jewish people like I have has learned that that is coded anti-Semitism. He harassed people so badly for their sexual orientations and religions so much the site actually warned him. I am glad he posts those innocuous threads they prove that he is as much a bigot as Miss California but instead of hating gays he hates straights (even if they are gay rights activists), jews, black, and christians. I challenge anyone to read the the threads but if you are straight, bisexual, transgender, and religion especially jewish, black, or voted for Obama do not identify or you will become his target. He has obviously suffered enough in his life he doesn’t have much going on so he feel it is his job to try to punish the people he feels are not good for gays. I guess it takes all kinds.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: It especailly disgusting if you, as you claim, you support open borders.

    If Chomsky voted for the lesser of two genocidal war lords then yes. Theres no excuse.

    Aside from being an apologists for Obama do you have anything to say about the question at hand?

  • getreal

    This movement has all kinds of activists of all faiths sexual orientations and gender identities. This lonely loser who has no man and no friends lives he is too afraid to even be out let alone do any activism. He is too out of touch to know that most 28 year old people like myself have been taught that people are born gay. I had out gay people in my junior high school. Look this guy is a sad loser closet case who is racist and anti-Semetic he hates biasexuals, transpeople and anyone who is not a white old person. He is sick and sad.

  • anderson cooper is my future husband

    @Bill Perdue: Do the world a favor and drop dead you Nazi.

  • anderson cooper is my future husband

    @getreal:Ignore that sick racist nazi. We gays love our straight allies keep fighting for my rights girl.He is just a hater that is why he will die alone hopefully soon. Most people on here have had enough of that kook he brings nothing but anger and hate into the world which is why he has NO ONE in his life.

  • anderson cooper is my future husband

    @Bill Perdue: Go away racist anti-Semite no one wants you here.

  • Alec

    @Bill Perdue: What’s wrong with open borders?

    Aside from being an apologists for Obama do you have anything to say about the question at hand?

    Contrary to the beliefs of some quarters, the only schools of economic thought that are equivalent to alchemy are supply side and Marxist.

  • anderson cooper is my future husband

    Wouldn’t it be great if this racist anti-Semetic closet case pedo would just drop dead. No one would miss him except the Klu Klux Klan of which he is probably a member.

  • Alec

    @Bill Perdue: Finally, speaking as a true metaphysical naturalist, your false variety is a disgrace.

    Just thought I’d throw that in there.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: I meant to say that your approval of immigrant bashing terminology is even more rancid and contradictory because of your approval of open borders.

    Aside from being apologists for Obama do you have anything to say about the question at hand, which is not your distorted cold war view of the world but ssm versus civil unions?

  • Alec

    @Bill Perdue: That’s just it, contra the world of the academic would-be consciousness raisers, it is the concrete world of policy I care about and not empty terminology. My support for open borders does nothing to change the fact that using the term “illegal immigrants” or “illegal immigration” is not per se offensive.

    The hysteria over terms like “illegal immigration” is invented because people find solace in meaningless debates over terminology, terminology which, unike the debate over marriage and civil unions, carries no legal consequence.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: Imported and immigrant workers is the term used by immigrant groups and unions. But it’s understandable that an apologist for Obama would be comfortable with an immigrant bashing term like “illegal”.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alec: I’m sure theres a pill for that – lithium, aricept, whatever. Consult your doctor.

  • edgyguy1426

    @Zakakaka: well there IS that…that and the Catholics

  • Ian

    Spain has gay marriage.

    Britain has civil-unions.

    Not the same thing.

  • getreal

    @Ian: Exactly one is equality one in my opinion is 2nd class citizenship. In this country the Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs Board Of Education that separate but equal is unconstitutional. I think civil unions are an unacceptable compromise.

  • Erick

    I cant believe the amount of comments that base in pure ignorance of the situation.

    The first requirement to get married in Spain is that at least one in the couple is a Spanish citizen, foreigners cannot get married in Spain, the same as some of the other countries that have “gay marriage”. It is not like Canada ,almost a unique example, where everyone can do so.

    What Spain did when it come to gay marriage is change the wording in the constitution and the pertaining laws to make them neutral, so people who enter into a male-male, male-female or female-female marriage have exactly the same rights and obligations, in other words full marriage equality. They are on par with The Netherlands and probably Sweden (I would have to check that out).

    The process to get married is quite simple and if one of the couple is a foreigner, then there is more paperwork but that is an immigration issue and of course has to follow the immigration law, which believe me it is very forgiving compared to other countries since the moment you announce to the authorities your intention to get married, it is considered the reunification of a family.

    The difference between marriage and civil unions is the level of legal consequence to the couple, civil unions have less consequence so its not the same and BTW, people in Spain who want to enter into a civil partnership can do so regardless of gender, they are simply not married. The problem with the UK is that they have civil partnerships, more in line with Spains civil partnership, so they cannot be accepted as marriage.

    I think they both have to work to do , but to be honest, I think the most work has to be done by the UK to give its citizen full marriage equality. As far as my brit friends tell me idea is to have a period of civil partnership and then move to that goal. Well, step it up people, so that this doesnt continue to happen.

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