Queen Sofia of Spain questions the need for Pride parades and gay marriage in her new biography, according to excerpts published in the daily newspaper, El Pais, on Oct 29.
“I can understand, accept and respect that there are people of other sexual tendencies,” writes the Queen, “but should they be proud to be gay?”
Her Royal Highness also offers her thoughts on gay marriage.
“If those people want to live together, dress up like bride and groom and marry,” she writes, “they could have a right to do so, or not, depending on the law of their country, but they should not call this matrimony, because it isn’t.”
The Queen Up Close, written by Spanish journalist Pilar Urbano, was released on Nov 2 in conjunction with the Queen’s 70th birthday. Born Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, she married Prince Juan Carlos of Spain, the future king, in 1962, and changed her first name to the Spanish variant.
The indiscreet comments have angered the country’s gay rights groups.
“It is unprecedented that the palace, which usually never comments on social issues, now has to vent about one group of citizens who have been discriminated against in the past,” said the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals of Spain.
Gay marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005, but the Roman Catholic Church remains a powerful force of opposition.