Pedro Zerolo

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Pedro Zerolo (2013).

Pedro González Zerolo (Caracas, 1960- Madrid, 2015) was a Spanish Venezuelan lawyer, politician and a town councilman of the city of Madrid,[1] and a member of the Federal Executive Committee of the PSOE[2] where he held the position of Secretary for Social Movements and Relations with NGOs. He was also a trustee of the Fundacion IDEAS, Spain's Socialist Party's think tank.

Zerolo was also one of the most important LGBT activists in Spanish history and one of the biggest promoters of extending the right to marriage and adoption to homosexual couples in the country.[3] Zerolo has become a gay icon among the Spanish LGBT community.[4]

Biography[edit]

Zerolo was born in Caracas, Venezuela,[1] where his father lived in exile from the Francoist government. It was born in a natural family of the Canary Islands, concretely of the island of Tenerife. His father Pedro González was the first mayor of San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Tenerife) in times of democracy and well-known painter.[5]

Pedro Zerolo studied law at the University of La Laguna on Tenerife, where he spent his childhood and adolescence. After gaining his diploma, he moved to Madrid, where he continued his studies, focusing on comparative law. At the same time, he collaborated with Catholic priest Enrique de Castro in a project to help the people of the poor Madrid barrio of Entrevías.

In 1992 he became a legal consultant for the Colectivo Gay de Madrid (Gay Collective of Madrid, COGAM). In late 1993, he was elected president of the organization.[6]

He subsequently provided legal assistance to the Federación Estatal de Gays y Lesbianas (National Federation of Gays and Lesbians). In 1998 he became president of that organization, which is now known as the Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales (National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, FELGTB). He was reelected in 2000 and 2002. In 2004 he joined the board of directors of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

At the invitation of the United Left and the PSOE, Zerolo addressed the Spanish Congress of Deputies during the debate over civil partnerships. He also appeared in the Spanish Senate to denounce discrimination against the gay community in Spain.

In 2001 and 2003 he participated in negotiations between opposition and the government deputies over five modifications to the Spanish Civil Code relating to same-sex marriage.

In the May 25th 2003 municipal elections Zerolo was asked to join the socialist list to the Madrid City Council, being elected as a councillor and later reelected in the 2007 elections. In the 36th Congress held in June 2004 of PSOE Zerolo was elected to the Federal Executive Committee of the party.

On October 1, 2005, Zerolo married Jesús Santos, his partner of ten years, in a civil ceremony.

Zerolo died from pancreatic cancer on 9 June 2015 in Madrid. He was 55.[7]

In July 2015 the City Council of Madrid decided to change the name of the Plaza de Vázquez de Mella into Plaza de Pedro Zerolo. The plaza was inaugurated on 14 May 2016.

References[edit]