The leader of Spain’s conservative opposition and frontrunner to be next prime minister has said he will repeal the country’s new progressive transgender laws.
“It is easier to change your legal gender than to get a driving licence,” said Alberto Núñez Feijóo, tipped to become Spain’s next prime minister after his Popular Party (PP) scored a series of victories in last month’s local and regional elections.
The results prompted Left-wing prime minister Pedro Sánchez to dissolve parliament.
According to the transgender law introduced this year by Mr Sánchez’s coalition, anyone from the age of 16 is free to change their official gender, and children from the age of 12 can do with court approval.
“This law is an attack against children, against parental custody and common sense,” Mr Feijóo said in an interview on radio station Onda Cero.
The law prompted division among members of Mr Sánchez’s Socialist party, with some feminist members of government arguing that women’s rights would be damaged if men could simply change gender without requiring any medical or psychological oversight.
But the reform was eventually pushed through by equality minister Irene Montero of the hard-Left Podemos party.
Mr Feijóo said a government led by him would be a slimmed-down affair with around 13 ministries compared to the current 22, and he singled out equality as a department that could be slotted into another ministry.
Ms Montero replied by saying Mr Feijóo’s plans constituted an assault against “the feminist and LGBT movement, which is at the vanguard of advancing rights across the world”.
Mr Feijóo also said he would revise Spain’s progressive euthanasia law, passed by parliament in 2020 in the face of fierce opposition from the country’s Catholic Church.
Mr Feijóo stopped short of committing to repealing the law that allows people suffering chronic and incurable illnesses to be euthanised by a doctor.
But the far-Right Vox, whose support the PP leader will almost certainly need to enter government, has described the euthanasia law as “the destruction of Spain’s Christian culture”.
Spain’s snap general election is to be held on Jul 23, five months before the scheduled end of the legislature.