Spain’s Queen Sofia celebrates her 70th birthday today but not everyone in the country will be wishing her well after anti-gay comments attributed to her. In extracts from a forthcoming biography, the Queen is quoted as saying it is wrong to describe same-sex unions as marriage.
“If these people want to live together, dress as grooms and get married, they might have the right to do so or not… but they shouldn’t call it marriage, because it isn’t,” she is reported to have said.
However, the Royal Palace said the Greek-born queen had been misquoted. The comments, and others condemning gay-pride parades and abortion, were published in a preview of the book in the ‘El Pais’ newspaper.
The remarks have rekindled fierce debate on homosexuality in the country. Spain is traditionally Catholic but has a strong liberal tendency and the population is deeply divided on social issues.