Accepted Paper:

Religion for kinning among LGBT families in Spain  

Authors:

J. Ignacio Pichardo (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Matías de Stéfano Barbero (Universidad de Buenos Aires)

Paper short abstract:

In Spain, as in other countries of Southern Europe, most family rituals are connected to religion and, thus, under the control of the Catholic Church. Due to the lack of recognition performed by the Catholic hierarchy, LGBT families have to face on one side this rejection and on the other hand the need to create and recreate family rituals.

Paper long abstract:

Rituals are in a central place for doing families. In Spain, as in other Mediterranean countries with a Catholic tradition, most family rituals are connected to religion and, thus, under the control of the Catholic Church. The relation between religion and homosexuality is complicated. Although many Spanish LGBT people feel not recognized by the Catholic Church, the hegemonic conceptions of family rituals are already imprinted by religious conceptions. Thus, families created by LGBT people have to face on one side this rejection and on the other hand the need to create and recreate family rituals. Through interview with 23 LGBT people, we explored this issue. In the case of marriages, the legalization of same­sex marriage has allowed the access to same­sex couples to this ritual. Anyway, marriage is still influenced by catholic conceptions for some LGBT Spaniards. This influence will be discussed in this paper. Baptism is a ritual for welcoming a new member in the family. The Spanish Catholic Church is facing a dilemma when asked to baptize children of LGBT families. Some of them are baptizing these children and other do not. The paper will review how this ritual creates a debate among members of LGBT families and with other relatives, namely grandparents. Grandparents are playing a crucial role for the reproduction of some religious rituals and practices (such as learning how to pray) for children living in LGBT families, creating potential conflicts with LGBT parents. Other rituals, i.e. funerals, are also still under the monopoly of the Catholic Church in Spain, with no secular alternative.

Panel P011
Family and kinship in contemporary Southern Europe: transformations, convergences and variations in a macro-regional perspective