40 years since the end of the Endangerment and Social Rehabilitation Law
This law, which passed in 1970 during the Franco regime, stated that the members of the LGBT group were considered to be “sick” or “delinquents”. It was created to replace the Vagrancy and Delinquents Law of 1933 which controlled everything that might go against morality such as vagrancy, vandalism, drug trafficking, prostitution, pornography and also would persecute us. It had a section that referred to social rehabilitation, which would basically allow institutionalising people in order to re-educate them.
At the time, the idea of lesbians was a foreign concept to the Franco regime, however they were still afraid their families would be victimised.
40 years ago, this law was changed, amending the section that referred to homosexuals which put an end to social persecution. In 1995 the law was finally abolished.
In Spain the 26th of December Foundation, who cares for the LGTB elders who suffered the most from this law (forced to hide, persecuted and imprisoned) work tirelessly in order to help them avoid discrimination in their old age (their main goal is the creation of a non-exclusive Specialised Residential Centre focused on LGBT elders) and the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB) are celebrating 2019 as the year of “Elders without Closets: History, Struggle and Memory!”
There’s been great strides towards more LGTB rights in the past 40 years such as the approval of same sex marriage and the gender identity law. However, our fight for equal rights continues.
We can’t let history repeat itself, we must always keep fighting in order to have full equal rights.