Since its transition from dictatorship to democracy in the mid-1970s, Spain has has done more than most countries to promote LGBT+ equality. It's now poised to give greater protection to trans people.

The Spanish government has approved measures that will strengthen protections already afforded to LGBT+ communities by, among other thing, recognising the rights of trans people’s “to be who they are” and making it a criminal offence to carry out conversion therapies.

According to news outlet La Moncloa (in Spanish) Spain’s Council of Ministers this summer agreed to submit to the General Courts a bill entitled “The Real and Effective Equality of Trans People and for the Guarantee of the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual and Intersex People (LGTBI).”

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The Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, above, said that although Spain became the third country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in 2005—after Holland and Belgium— the bill seeks build on existing protections, especially for trans people.

We hope that this law can be approved urgently, because LGTBI lives, particularly trans lives, can no longer wait. The State recognizes trans people’s right to be who they are, without witnesses, without the obligation of hormonal treatment during two years and without any medical report that has to say that they are sick people.

The law will also offer protections to transgender expats living in Spain.

Conversion therapy will be outlawed

The bill regards conversion therapy as as “a very serious administrative offence” and harsh penalties will be imposed on those carrying out these dangerous and discredited practices. Those who flout the law will be fined between €10,001 and 150,000 euros.

Said Montero:

LGTB+ lives do not need any cure. What needs a cure, in any case, is LGTB+phobia, and that can be cured with comprehensive sexual education, with education for equality and with diversity education.

Children will be better educated

To this end, youngsters will be better educated in schools regarding LGBT+ issues and any homophobic content in textbooks or educational materials will be considered very serious offences, Montero said.

The bill also makes provision for greater recognition of equality in workplaces, with special attention to the inclusion of trans people and, above all, trans women, “who are the ones with the greatest gap and greater difficulties in accessing employment.”

If an individual or company that refuses to hire a person because of their sexual orientation, could receive fines of up to €10,000.

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