Madrid’s mayor, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, carried out his first gay marriage yesterday in the capital despite opposition from the church and his own political party the ‘Partido Popular’ who are strongly opposed to such unions.
It is not the first time that Madrid’s charasmatic mayor has broken ranks with his party. Gallardon was the president of the Region of Madrid for 8 years but his rise within the Popular Party was halted by José Maria Aznar who apparantly resented his popularity and favoured other members to take over the party leadership when he stepped down. During the final months of Aznar’s presidency of Spain he asked Ruiz Gallardon to run for Mayor of Madrid in the last local elections and appointed hardliner Esperanza Aguirre to run as the canditate for President of Madrid. Although at the time Gallardon insisted that it was as much a privilege to serve as mayor as regional president, it was seen by most political commentators as an attempt by Aznar to take power away from one of his party’s most popular members.
Gallardón yesterday defied his party in favour of what he called equality for all citizens as set out in article 14 of the Spanish Constitution. The gay marriage took place in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor with over 70 guests present.