Spain’s newly enthroned King Felipe and Queen Letizia broke with tradition on Tuesday by officially receiving representatives from Spain’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups at the royal El Pardo palace on Tuesday and highlighting that their work “deserves to be better known and acknowledged”.
Boti Garcia, president of Spain’s State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, and José María Núñez-Blanco, president of LGBT rights group the Triangle Foundation, were invited along with representatives of 350 other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and charities involved with social causes.
García admitted that she had been surprised to receive the invitation, noting: “We have asked more than once for meetings with the vice president of the government and he’s never even answered.”
Spanish daily Publico reported both representatives as having connected better with the queen, who was said to have spent more time with them than the king, and who had highlighted the importance of their presence at such an event. “We felt that our message had been listened to and understood, ” said García.
The attitude of Spain’s new queen stands in stark contrast to that of her predecessor, Queen Sofia, who in 2008 declared herself opposed to same-sex marriages, leading to a statement of protest from the Triangle Foundation.
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