In March of 2010, Ricky Martin officially came out as an openly gay man. A year later, in April of this year, it was reported that Ricky and his longtime partner Carlos Gonzalez Abella were planning on getting married in Abella’s home country of Spain (where same-sex marriage is legal). Today we learn that Ricky has successfully become a Spanish citizen, paving the way for the guys to say I Do.
Puerto Rican pop singer Ricky Martin was given Spanish citizenship today, the country’s government said. The star, who came out in 2010 reportedly wants to take advantage of Spain’s gay marriage laws. Spokesman Jose Blanco told a news conference that ministers had agreed to grant him a “letter of naturalization”, issued in special circumstances, because of his “personal and professional links with Spain”. Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Martin sought citizenship in order to marry boyfriend Carlos Gonzalez Abella, with whom he is bringing up his twin three-year-old sons. Spain passed legislation allowing same-sex marriages in 2005, only the third country to do so at the time, with 20,000 gay couples entering into marriage since. Appearing on the Larry King show last year, he had said: “I would get married… There are many countries around the world where same-sex marriage is a right. Not in Puerto Rico, unfortunately. And not in many states in America. “Yes, we could go to Spain and get married. We can go to Argentina and get married. But why do we have to go somewhere else? Why can’t I do it in my country where the laws are – you know, protecting me?” He added: “I can go to Spain. I have many friends in Spain. And get married. And make it very beautiful and symbolic. But… I [can't] do it in the backyard of my house. I want to have that option. I don’t want to be a second class citizen anymore. I pay my taxes. Why can’t I have that right?”
While I’m happy for Ricky that he was able to get his Spanish citizenship sorted out in order to marry his partner, it saddens me that people have to go to such lengths to do something as simple as get married. Very soon, I hope, a day will come when GLBT people won’t have to jump through these kinds of ridiculous hoops in order to enjoy the same, basic rights that heterosexual people enjoy. Until then, I guess we’ll have to content ourselves with celebrating the little victories in any way we can. Here’s hoping that Ricky and Carlos are able to be married and start sharing the life together that they and their sons deserve.