SIX homosexual couples yesterday asked for information on the steps to be taken in order to have a civil wedding at the Registry Office in Palma under the new law which allows gay marriages. However, no requests were received at the Palma city hall, where Mayor Catalina Cirer had already appointed a councillor to take charge of the requests. In Ibiza, seven homosexual couples, five male and two female, have sought information from the Ibiza town hall.
The Formentera town council has also attended to one request for information.
Similar reports came from other parts of Spain, but none of the town or city council's reported an avalanche of requests.
In Barcelona, 14 gay couples went to the Registry offices, including a Lesbian couple one of whom was a foreigner.
However, the number of foreigners who have sought information on marriages has not been specified.
Civil servant Boti Garcia Rodrigo, who works in the Madrid Registry Office, said that most of the couples were middle aged, as they are the ones with the longest established relationships and had been waiting for the new law. Requests for information were also made in Seville, Cordoba and Granada.
Various gay couples living abroad have also expressed their intention of getting married on the Costa del Sol, according to Santiago Rubio, deputy chairman of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Group. He said one couple who lived in New York, a Spaniard and an American, wanted to be married in Mijas (Malaga) when they come to Spain in September on holiday. And in Valencia, José Vicente Sanchis, 27, and Jonathan Borell, 22, plan to marry with a Mayor and a former culture minister among their witnesses.
The gay wedding market is expected to move more than 2'000 million euros in ten years in Spain, according to a Valencian firm specialising in weddings. The law, which took effect on Sunday, makes Spain only the fourth country in the world to have legalised same-sex marriages after the Netherlands, Belgium and Canada. It gives same-sex unions the same status as heterosexual ones, including adoption and inheritance rights.