You are in: The LGBT Movement


Logotipo Casal Lambda

El Casal Lambda es un centro asociativo sin ánimo de lucro cuyo objetivo es la normalización del hecho homosexual. Desde 1976 ofrece a gays y lesbianas un espacio de encuentro y orientación, y un centro de información y documentación sobre sexualidad dirigido a profesionales e investigadores. El Casal Lambda lleva a cabo una importante labor de proyección social con sus actividades culturales y el trabajo continuado de sensibilización hacia las instituciones públicas, los partidos políticos y el conjunto de la sociedad.
El principal objetivo del Casal Lambda es la normalización social de la homosexualidad. A menudo la falta de este reconocimiento social lleva a gays y lesbianas a esconder su vida sexual y afectiva a circuitos cerrados y les causa dificultades para asumirse, al tiempo que se producen situaciones de discriminación. 
El Casal Lambda puede llevar a cabo sus proyectos gracias a las aportaciones económicas de sus asociados y al trabajo voluntario y desinteresado de muchas personas.

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Catalonia was the birthplace of the gay, lesbian and transsexual movement in Spain when, in 1970, the country’s first clandestine group was formed in Barcelona. Since then, civil associations have advanced a great deal, and the brave struggle for equality and public recognition of the existence of the LGBT community has allowed for a mainly positive social attitude towards homosexuality to develop.

Sitges was also a pioneer. In 1980 it inaugurated one of the country’s first gay nightclubs, soon to be joined by a major leisure and commercial network that continues functioning fully to this day. Catalonia has lived calmly through both these realities: that generated by the vitality of civil associations and that led by commercial initiative. It has absorbed their meaning and drawn its conclusions. This means that our society generally respects and recognises the LGBT community, while new institutions have responded to the demands of the movement through laws and direct action.

Symbolic gestures cannot provide all the solutions. We are also pioneers in promoting legislation that favours equality and respect for LGBT persons, such as that allowing same-sex couples to adopt children and the creation of the National Council of Lesbians, Gays, and Transsexual and Bisexual men and women.

All these factors have generated social respect and have resulted in the creation of a Region where diversity is duly reflected; a Region where, besides everything the city of Barcelona has to offer or the great tradition of Sitges, there are also a full range of specific options for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals available throughout the Region: from rural and family-run accommodation through to bars and clubs, restaurants and shops.



In 1970 the MELH (Spanish Homosexual Liberation Movement) was created, a pioneer in Spain. It was founded by Armand de Fluvià and was a response to the draft bill for the Social Danger and Rehabilitation Act, through which the Franco dictatorship wanted to criminalise homosexuals solely for their orientation.

From 1971 the MELH began to hold clandestine meetings in Barcelona, at a different location each time to avoid police persecution. When Franco died in 1975, MELH members and others came together to found the FAGC (Catalonia Gay Liberation Front) in December of that same year. This group had major influence and was the first to work continuously for the rights of gays and lesbians. With the arrival of democracy, in 1976 Armand de Fluvià and a group of activists created the Lambda Institute, designed as a centre for LGBT services and not as a protest tool. On 28 June 1977, an ever more visible gay movement filled the streets of Barcelona. This was the first gay, lesbian and transsexual demonstration and was subsequently held annually.

In 1979, homosexuality was excluded from the Social Dangers Act, although the article of the Spanish penal code regulating so-called “public scandal” was applied to homosexuals if they participated in any public activity that could be considered as a threat to public morality.

As far as women’s and lesbian groups are concerned, they have a long tradition here, and in 1975 the first Feminist Collective was created, with the first Catalonia Women’s Conference being held the following year. In 1977 FAGC, the Barcelona Lesbian Collective, was founded. In 1979 the Feminist Party was created, with the presentation of the Group for Lesbian Liberation Struggle (GLAL) in Barcelona.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the work of the lesbian feminist groups became more active with Empar Pineda as their best-known representative, and in 1988 the Ca la Dona project was inaugurated – still highly active to this day. With the 1990s came the Les Noies del Casal Group, part of the Casal Lambda Centre. Alongside the Lesbian Feminists’ Group and the Lesbos Group, they continue to head up the lesbian and women’s movement in Catalonia today.

Subsequently more specialised groups were created such as those fighting against AIDS, and new horizons were opened through culture, as can be seen in the gay and lesbian film festival that was organised for the first time by the Casal Lambda Centre en 1995.



The work of the LGBT movement along with social changes seen in Catalonia, especially since the beginning of the 21st century, have been reflected in a series of laws and a recognition of rights that have made this one of the world’s most advanced Regions in this field.

Since the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1973, much has been achieved in the journey towards equality and dignity for LGBT persons. In Catalonia this is now reflected in its laws and institutions. In 1998 the Regional Government of Catalonia passed the Stable Domestic Partnership Act – the first of its kind anywhere in Spain. This step seems small when compared with everything that would come later, especially with the approval of same-sex marriage legislation in 2005, and again
when the Regional Government of Catalonia took the initiative creating the Programme for the Lesbian, Gay and Transsexual Community on 28 June. The year 2005 also brought good news for the recognition of same-sex families with the passing of reforms to the Family Legislation Code, allowing lesbian and gay couples to adopt.

On 28 June, Gay, Lesbian, Transsexual and Bisexual Pride Day, the Rainbow flag will fly on the main buildings of the Regional Government of Catalonia to draw attention to the reality of LGBT persons in the Region – an initiative that is also being taken up by many local councils. The Catalonia LGBT National Council was constituted in 2007. That same year, the Catalonia Public Prosecutor’s Office created the post of Anti-Homophobia Tsar, whose role is to supervise judicial action taken against homophobic behaviour.


Defends your rights, denounces the homophobia

Defiende tus derechos, denuncia la homofobia
What can you report as homophobia or

Any act of aggression, insult, threat, blackmail, incitement
to violence against your person or any refusal to
serve you (whether in the public or private sector), job
discrimination, harassment at school etc. as a result of
your sexual orientation and/or gender identity and/or
close relationships.

Who can make a report?

The victim or anyone who has witnessed or is aware of
any homophobic or transphobic conduct.
Where can I make the report?
At the offices of Citizens Advice (OAC) located at all
Mossos d’Esquadra police stations, who provide this
service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In the case of emergencies, call the following toll-free
telephone numbers: 112 or 088.
When making a report, remember that you will need to
present a personal identification document.

It’s important:

Always report the acts and, if possible,
try to provide medical reports, testimony, etc.
Ensure that your report contains all the
expressions, proof and details which indicate
that it is a case of homophobic discrimination.