Last edited: December 18, 2004

Spain Faces Up to Franco’s Anti-Gay Legacy UK, December 17, 2004

By Keith McDonnell, UK

LGBT campaigners in Spain have for many years been fighting for the government to recognise the persecution that the majority of Spain’s LGBT population suffered under Franco’s long years of dictatorship.

On Wednesday the Spanish parliament formally recognised the suffering that many thousands of gays endured under Gen Francisco Franco, including being gaoled without trial and mass persecution.

The president of the parliament, Manuel Marin, read out a statement saying that “the chamber recognises the suffering of homosexuals during Franco’s years” offering them moral recognition and support. The statement drew spontaneous and prolonged applause from deputies within the chamber.

During Franco’s reign, which lasted from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 to his death in 1975, many lesbians and gay men were gaoled in the country’s two “sexual re-education” centres and as Marin pointed out—many were not released until 1979, two years after Spain’s new government introduced a general amnesty.

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