Same-sex marriages were made legal in Spain in June 2005 - a civil marriage in Spain allows homosexual couples the same legal and adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples.
Initially, it was declared that Spanish citizens may only marry a partner from a country where gay marriage has been legalised. However that was amended and the current ruling is:
With regards to gay marriage, Spanish law now states that: "Marriage will have the same requirements and results when the two people entering into the contract are of the same sex or of different sexes."
Note: A legal gay marriage in Spain may not be recognised in a country that does not accept gay marriage.
For an updated list of countries authorising same sex legal relations, and their standings see websites:
As with a traditional union, one of the same-sex partners must be a Spanish resident, having been legally resident in Spain for at least two years and registered with the municipality.
Application for a marriage licence can be made at the Civil Registry (Registro Civil), District Court (Juzgado) or, in some cases, the Town Hall in the place where the marriage is to be held.
It is essential to consult the local authority (Civil Registry, District Court or Town Hall) with jurisdiction over where the marriage is to be held to find out precisely what documentation will be required. It varies greatly with some provinces being stricter than others regarding the laws of residency.
The following documents are required (additional documents may be required)
Note: All foreign documents that are not is Spanish should be translated by an official translator who marks them with an official seal. Translated documentation should ideally not be more than three months old.
A civil marriage is held in the courts, or the Town Hall of residence of one of the couple. It is conducted by the Mayor or a delegated Councillor.
The marriage is effective immediately following the ceremony. After the wedding, it is registered in the Civil Registry and a certificate (Inscripción de Matrimonio) stating the date, time and place of the marriage is issued.
Same sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples to adoption and to assisted reproduction: children born within a lesbian marriage by in vitro fertilisation treatment may be legally recognised by the non-biological mother.
In addition to marriage for gay couples, most of Spain's autonomous communities recognise and provide for civil unions and registered cohabitation between same-sex people. This allows for kinship, inheritance, and property rights.
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