Spanish socialists suddenly oppose Trans bill


Southern Europe


Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during a speech in 2019. Photo EPA, Kiko Huesca

With a sudden amendment to a controversial Trans Law, the ruling Socialist party in Spain is on a collision course with its coalition partner.

The Spanish ruling socialist party PSOE wants to amend the so-called Trans Law by touching on gender self-determination for minors. According to the country's largest political party, minors under 16 should go to a judge before changing their sex.

This amendment makes PSOE heading on a collision course with coalition partner Podemos, a left-wing populist party. Minister of Equality Irene Montero, who belongs to Podemos, has emphasised that gender self-determination is a non-negotiable issue. Furthermore, she is said not to accept any "regression" on this subject.


With the amendment, PSOE follows in part the guidelines indicated by the Council of State, which in a report advocated bringing the requirement to carry out the procedure before a judge for all minors under 18. PSOE, however, does not want to go that far; they want to establish the age limit at 16.

While Equality Minister Montero pushed the law proposal under an "emergency procedure" that limits the possibilities for a detailed debate in Parliament and excludes the possibility of hearing non-partisan experts, PSOE suddenly sided with the conservatives and right-wing populists. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) may even decide to freeze the bill. This reports the Swiss Christian news site Livenet. According to journalist Julia Macher, the sudden move has mainly to do with the general elections of 2023. "Both parties want to present themselves as feminist."

To please feminists, the Spanish daily El Mundo writes that PSOE also wants to tighten the conditions by which a person who has changed sex can do so again later. The socialists propose to let a judge intervene to make it more difficult for people to spontaneously change gender.

The Ministry of Equality has not yet reacted to the amendments made by PSOE. According to El Mundo, they might be silent because "there is still confidence in the talks that will be held in the coming days".

Assassination attempt

The Catholic Church is concerned about the situation. Archbishop Luis Argüello, Secretary General of the Spanish Bishops' Conference, called the bill an "assassination attempt against human dignity". This reports German news site Domradio.

The church is far from the only institution currently struggling with the transgender initiative. As CNE reported earlier, Spain's medical and psychologists' associations are also extremely sceptical about the bill.

In an El Mundo survey, 66 per cent of the Spanish population see it as a problem that 16-year-olds can decide independently about their gender. However, 63 per cent of the population think it is fundamentally correct that not biology, but self-perception decides on gender identity.



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