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During the 90s, the progress towards LGBT equality in Spain was significant and, at the turn of the century, the legislation was finally adapting to a society that, for a number of years, had been on the road to equality in terms of LGTB rights in Spain. Once the situation of the gay community was accepted and normalized, it was now time for legislation to catch up with this social progress.

In 2001, Marta and Cristina, a common-law same sex couple who lived in Barcelona, were expecting their first child thanks to an artificial insemination treatment in a fertility centre, and they publicly requested they both wanted the custody or parental authority of their kids (they were expecting twins). Despite the fact that this was not an unusual request, this was the first time that a situation like this one was being disclosed to the public. Their case fostered new discussions on equal LGTB rights in Spain.

The 21st Century resulted in the creation of new LGTB organisations. In 2002 ACATHI (Associació Catalana per a la Integració d’Homosexuals, Bisexuals i Transsexuals Immigrants), the Catalan Association for homosexual, bisexual and transsexual immigrants was created in Barcelona with the purpose of offering support to LGBT immigrantsand helping them adapt and integrate. Not in vain, the Spanish economy was growing strongly throughout the first decade of this new century, and many citizens from all over the world arrived to the country, many of whom had very diverse backgrounds, and came from countries where homosexuality is stigmatized or even prosecuted.

In addition, more and more new meetings among LGTB parents were being held since 2001, in which there were debates on the problems and vindications this group was experiencing. This led to the creation of the Lesbian and Gay Families Association or FLG (Associació de Famílies Lesbianes i Gais) in 2003. The main leitmotiv of their requests was equality in terms of LGTB rights in Spain.


In the media, a new gay-oriented magazine emerged: Gay Barcelona (GB). During the 70s and 80s, all gay magazines in Spain, apart from Nois Magazine, were published by LGBT organisations, but GB originated in the Internet, and started publishing a printed issue some time later.

After 25 years of conservative victories, there was a political change in 2003 that boosted the slow process of achieving equality regarding LGBT rights. On the one hand, the Catalan government got involved in creating the Homophobia Observatory (Observatori contra la Homofòbia), an organization that works in the design and implementation of a continuous observation system to detect discrimination and homophobia. This observatory originated in the FAGC, though it was consolidated as heir of the Anti-discrimination Office (Oficina antidiscriminatoria) in 2004 and turned into its own entity (independent from the FAGC) in 2008.

On the other hand, the Catalan Government approved the first Program for the Gay, Lesbian and Transsexual Community, which aimed to create an Interdepartmental Plan for Non-discrimination of homosexual and transsexual people. Also in 2004, the Council of Barcelona created the Gay, Lesbian and Transsexual City Council (Consell municipal de gais, lesbianes, homes i dones transsexuals de Barcelona).

However, the most relevant milestone in the fight for equal LGBT rights in Spain was reached in 2005. The Catalan Parliament amended the Codi de Família (Family Code) in order to legalize adoption for same-sex couples. A few months later, the Spanish Parliament approved the same-sex marriage and recognised their right to adopt. The rights for LGTB people finally matched those of the rest of the citizenship.


Editor's note:
The term gay, LGBT, LGTBI or LGBTIQ + are used interchangeably.

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