Spain Simplifies Divorce Procedures

In the midst of a flurry of international attention about the legalization of gay marriage in Spain, the Spanish Parliament has quietly moved to make it easier for couples to divorce. Legislation just passed today reduces from 12 months to three months the time that couples must have been separated to get a divorce. Here’s a story about it in the Fairfax (Australia) Age.

Until 1981, divorce was illegal in predominantly Catholic Spain. In support of the change, the Government cited police statistics showing that 40% of domestic violence cases occurred during the year-long pre-divorce separation period.

The change occurs over low-key opposition from the Catholic church, and it comes along with Spain’s much-discussed decision to legalize gay marriage. In legalizing gay marriage, Spain becomes the third nation in Europe to do so. This in a country that, until the late 1970’s, imprisoned homosexuals pursuant to the “Low on Social Dangers,” along with “ruffians, pimps and professional beggars.”

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