KING Felipe VI of Spain has done what no royal has ever done before: appear on the cover of a gay magazine to show that he is an active supporter of LGBT equality.

The cover of Ragap magazine shows an image of the king, who took the throne in mid-2014, with the headline: “Felipe VI: The first head of state in Spain who listens to the LGBT community.”

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Inside the magazine, a translation of the article about the king and his track record for LGBTI support reads:

“[King Felipe] is part of a generation that has lived through the persecution of LGBT people and the hammer-blow of HIV, to the beginning of the first collective movements of activism, Pride marches, the germination of gay culture and tourism with Maspalomas, Torremolinos, Sitges and Chueca, and finally the legalization of gay marriage.

“Today, Spain is one of the few countries where homosexuality is legal, where civil union and marriage between persons of the same sex are legal, where homosexual couples can adopt children, where you can come out of the closet and serve in the armed forces, where there are laws against LGBT discrimination, and transexual people can legally change gender.

“However, there is still much to do, and Felipe VI faces a great challenge.

“For the moment, he is off to a good start. The first official reception for the monarchy, in which their majesties invited representatives of civil society, marked a turning point in the approach of the king to the campaigners defending LGBT rights: for the first time, a head of state in Spain listened to demands of activists against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The cover story, published on January 23, can be read online here

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