Eschew Gay Wedge

Spain Gears Up For Fierce Election

Spain’s Socialist Party successfully seduced moderate voters during 2004’s election. The party has repeatedly clashed with Spain’s establishment since taking power, particularly with regard to gay marriage. With the national parliament dissolved and elections set for March 9, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his comrades are steering toward the center:

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has developed an image as a firebrand ready to shake up Spain’s conservative Catholic establishment. His Socialist party passed Europe’s most progressive same-sex marriage legislation, introduced fast-track divorce and chipped away at religious education in public schools.

But ahead of a fiercely-contested national election scheduled for March 9, Zapatero is trying to polish his credentials as a moderate. His nemesis, conservative Popular Party (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy, is doing the same.

Despite his conservative leaning, Rajoy promised not to overturn Spain’s same-sex marriage laws, which may alienate his voter base. We’re happy to hear, however, that gay rights aren’t being used as a wedge issue, as they are here in the United States.