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Spain – SOGI Legislation Country Report (2013)


The age of consent in the Criminal Code is the same for same-sex and opposite-sex sexual activity.

The Constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity (Section 14 guarantees that “Spaniards are equal before the law and may not in any way be discriminated against on account of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance”). However, the equality clause is open-ended, and so could be read to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Criminal Code criminalizes discrimination in the provision of public services, professional or business activities, and employment.

The Criminal Code prohibits discrimination, hate, or violence demonstrated toward groups or associations on the basis of “sexual preference.” The Code also criminalizes the distribution of “defamatory information on groups or associations” in relation to “sexual preference” and the promotion of discrimination, hate, or violence toward individuals or groups on the basis of sexual preference.

Under the Civil Code, same-sex couples are allowed to marry and their marriages have identical “requirements and effects” as those of heterosexual marriages.

The adoption law in the Civil Code is framed in gender- and orientation-neutral terms to allow same-sex couples to adopt.

Law 3/2007 permits individuals to change their gender or name to reflect their gender identity in the Civil Registrar. To change one’s gender, the individual must have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and show proof of medical treatment for at least two years “to adapt his/her physical characteristics to those corresponding to the claimed sex,” although gender reassignment surgery is not a prerequisite for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

Law 14/2006 of 26 May permits a woman of any sexual orientation to “receive or use” assisted human reproductive technologies.

Law 5/1984 of 26 March [Right to Asylum and Refugee Status] (amended by Law 9/1994 of 19 May) permits the extension of asylum to the same-sex “spouse” of the refugee, or “the partner with whom the individual has a similar relationship of affection and cohabitation.”

link to full text in PDF: Spain-SOGI Legislation Country Report-2013-eng