Europe, already on a demographic downslope, finds another country not exactly willing to face up to their reality:
The Spanish Parliament gave final approval today to a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making Spain only the second nation to eliminate all legal distinctions between same-sex and heterosexual unions, according to supporters of the bill.
The measure, passed by a vote of 187 to 147, establishes that couples will have the same rights, including the freedom to marry and to adopt children, regardless of gender.
"Today, Spanish society is responding to a group of people who have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, their dignity offended, their identity denied and their freedom restricted," Prime Minister José Luis Rodíguez Zapatero told Parliament.
Spain is the fourth country to legalize gay marriage, after Canada, Holland and Belgium.
Will the Muslims who are on a pace to take over Europe find the above to their liking?
Europe as we know it is slowly going out of business. .... Unless Europe reverses two trends -- low birthrates and meager economic growth -- it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power. Actually, that future has already arrived.
....It's hard to be a great power if your population is shriveling. Europe's birthrates have dropped well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children for each woman of childbearing age. For Western Europe as a whole, the rate is 1.5. It's 1.4 in Germany and 1.3 in Italy. In a century -- if these rates continue -- there won't be many Germans in Germany or Italians in Italy.
....In the 1970s annual growth for the 12 countries now using the euro averaged almost 3 percent; from 2001 to 2004 the annual average was 1.2 percent. In 1974 those countries had unemployment of 2.4 percent; in 2004 the rate was 8.9 percent.
Wherever they look, Western Europeans feel their way of life threatened. One solution to low birthrates is higher immigration. But many Europeans don't like the immigrants they have -- often Muslim from North Africa -- and don't want more. One way to revive economic growth would be to reduce social benefits, taxes and regulations. But that would imperil Europe's "social model," which supposedly blends capitalism's efficiency and socialism's compassion.
[Thanks to NC State's Craig Newmark]