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Spanish politician Iñaki Oyarzábal comes out publicly as gay

Spanish politician Iñaki Oyarzábal comes out publicly as gay

Conservative politician Iñaki Oyarzábal has publicly come out of the closet.

Though the sexual orientation of the 46-year old Basque politician was no secret within political and social circles, Oyarzábal is the first member of the conservative Popular Party (PP) to publicly come out.

Since winning a landslide majority in November 2011 by promising to correct the country’s economic crisis, the PP has appealed to the Constitutional Court to challenge Spain’s gay marriage law that came into effect in 2005.

According to Elcorreo.com, Oyarzábal, the secretary general of PP, consulted with PP president Antonio Basagoiti prior to publicly announcing his homosexuality.

Basagoiti reportedly encouraged Oyarzábal to make his announcement.

Oyarzábal thanked the public for their messages of support through his Twitter account.

‘I can only hope that soon these things will not be newsworthy.’

Elena Valenciano, vice-secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, said via Twitter: ‘Good for you Iñaki Oyarzábal. Bravo! Now you can become an ambassador for the PP asking them to remove their appeal against marriage equality.’

Adding to fears that Spain’s marriage equality laws would be reversed by the PP, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been adamant about his preference for the term ‘civil union’ to ‘marriage’ for same-sex unions since taking power in 2011.

When former Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came into power in 2004, his agenda of social reforms included gay marriage, adoption by same-sex parents, and a law that fully legalized abortion in Spain. 

Oyarzábal asured readers via his Twitter account: ‘I assure you that in PP we respect and believe in people regardless of their orientation, they knew of mine years ago.’

As the only out-gay member of PP, Oyarzábal is listed as number three of Spain’s 50 most influential gay people by El Mundo, after judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska and film maker Pedro Almodóvar.