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Outstanding challenges in a post-equality era: The same-sex marriage and gender identity laws in Spain

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Spain has captured international attention with regards to equality for sexual minorities, recently approving laws that allow same-sex couples to marry under the same conditions as different-sex couples (Law 13/2005) and that allow transgender people to change their name in the register without having to go through compulsory surgery (Law 3/2007). Using intersectionality as a framework for my analysis, I explore the limitations of the notion of equality in both legal texts by adding an analysis that includes not only sexuality, but also gender, ethnicity, age, and class. Both laws aimed at satisfying the demands of social movements and were designed to overcome inequality and have a relevant symbolic impact. Despite this, it is argued, they were not framed to transform society in depth. Both laws are contributing to reproduce inequality by not taking into account multiple discriminations.
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Keywords: Gay, lesbian and transgender rights; intersectionality; same-sex marriage

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Complutense University of Madrid.

Publication date: June 2, 2008

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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