Spain’s Constitutional Court has rejected efforts to strike down same-sex marriage on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, the court’s 11 judges ruled 8 to 3 in favour of the law passed in 2005 that legalised gay and lesbian marriages.

The conservative Popular Party, which opposed the law, took its constitutionality to the courts but was ultimately defeated by yesterday’s ruling.

Spain’s government said that it would accept the decision and ensure that the law is upheld.

“We’re very, very pleased and particularly that the decision was 8-3 and not a close 6-5,” Jesus Generelo, general secretary of the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB), told Reuters.

“I think it is clear that gay marriage is now a part of our society.”

The legalisation of gay marriage was vehemently opposed by the Catholic Church which still holds considerable sway in the country. Polls, however, indicate that most Spaniards are in favour of marriage equality.

Over 23,000 same-sex couples have gotten married in Spain since 2005. Seven other European countries, namely Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden, offer gay and lesbian people full marriage rights.

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