Parliament jurists: LGBT draft law clashes with freedom of speech, conscience and education
The Equality Commission of the Spanish Parliament warns that the Bill discriminates against other groups in society. 38% of the articles of the draft law incur in legal contradictions.
Protestante Digital · MADRID · 22 MAY 2018 · 19:25 CET
The LGBT Non Discrimination and Equality Bill, approved by the Spanish national parliament in September, follows its parliamentary procedure. The Bill should be passed before the summer.
Early this month, the jurists of the Equality Commission released a report, which showed the serious deficiencies of the Bill.
The report confirms the legal doubts that the text already aroused during the debate, although it was finally approved by an overwhelming majority of the MPs, with the abstention of the Conservative Popular Party (PP), which later presented an amendment to the totality that was rejected by the Parliament, and only two votes against it.
The jurists warned that as many as 23 articles of the law could clash with the Constitution. Another 14 articles allegedly contradict other laws.
Of the 98 articles in the document, 37.8% have legal contradictions, the parliament's jurstis have concluded, Spanish newspaper ABC reported.
These possible constitutional violations affect key freedoms and rights guaranteed in the current legal system.
The lawyers considered that the so-called “positive action”, that is, the benefits for LGTBI people, is granted automatically and without sufficient justification, discriminating against other groups.
The report says that the law intends to “create a legal regime that make a distinction of people”, so that “a substantial number of people would claim that they are LGTBI, to enjoy the advantages of the regulations”.
This “cannot be considered as a correct understanding of positive action”, the report pointed out.
BASIC RIGHTS THREATENED
Lawyers warned that with the Bill other groups could see their rights questionated, including essential rights as freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, effective judicial protection, the right of equality, the proclamation of political pluralism, and even the right to education in all its aspects.
They also believed that the right of association, the right to health, the ideological freedom of institutions, the legal security, the principle of free development of personality and the right to personal and family privacy are threatened too.
The attorneys also said that the wording of the Bill does not respect the presumption of innocence, something highlighted by the Spanish Evangelical Alliance in its report on the law, delivered to the political parties during the deadline for the presentation of amendments.
It also goes against constitutional rights related to child protection, State's financial liability, or the rights of workers.
UNIDOS PODEMOS: “THE TEXT SHOULD BE IMPROVED”
The deputy of the leftist party En Comú, who leads the defense of the Bill in the Parliament, admitted that they will have to “polish” the text after the report of the lawyers, although she defended the legality of the initiative.
There is a comission in the Parliament which is in charge of developing the draft, and it started its meetings at the begining of May.
THE PATH OF THE LAW
The LGBT Non Discrimination and Equality Bill was drafted with the Spanish Lesbian, Gay, Transsexual and Bisexual Federation (FELGTB) and presented at the Congress by the confederate parliamentary group of leftist parties Unidos Podemos, En Comú and En Marea, in May 2017.
The Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE) and the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain (FEREDE in Spanish), publicly presented their opposition to various aspects of the law, which had generated concern among evangelicals in Spain.
The AEE made several amendments to the Bill approved in September, and submitted them to the political parties.
The law is still in the report phase of the Equality Commission. Once the text is finished, it will be presented to the Congress for its final vote.