Four decades have passed since the abolition of Spain’s so-called “Social Danger Laws” (ley de peligrosidad social) in 1978.
At the time, under dictator Francisco Franco, homosexuality was considered a threat to the ideal of a “macho” Spanish male and an attack on the morals and integrity of the Spanish people.
Franco’s regime represented a period of severe persecution and oppression of Spain’s LGBT community (as well as of women and of the working class).
After the end of the civil war, many LGBT people were punished by the state simply for being gay.
They were imprisoned and tortured along with tens of thousands of political dissenters, anarchists and leftists.
Franco pursued a social model consisting of a submissive and accommodating woman, a masculine and dominant man (with no feminine traits) and the ever-present Catholic morals, used as a means of repression against gay people.
The “Social Danger Laws”, approved on 4 August 1970, included a list of punishments against gay and transgender people including confinement to asylums and banishment from their home towns.
These laws remained in force after the dictator’s death in 1975, but in 1978 a provision was created for the abolition of some clauses, among them the punishments for homosexuality.