Elisa and Marcela: the first homosexual marriage in Spain in 1901 –

The first homosexual marriage in Spain dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the lesbian couple formed by Elisa Sanchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas decided to get married by cheating on a priest. Let us now know the history of Elisa and Marcela: the first homosexual marriage in Spain in 1901.

Who were Elisa and Marcela

Elisa Sanchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas They were two women who lived during the years between the 19th and 20th centuries who mocked the Catholic Church by celebrating the first gay marriage in history. Although the law that approves homosexual marriages in Spain came into force in 2005, the first marriage between people of the same sex dates from 1901 . One of the two women Elisedisguised himself as a man (Mario) to marry the woman he loved.

The two women had met during a course to become teachers in A Coruña and they fell madly in love. Nevertheless, the news is not accepted by Marcela’s family who forced her to move to Madrid. The two women lose sight of each other until fate brings them together: the women work in schools in two neighboring towns. This is how Marcela goes every day from her town to Elisa’s to be able to be with her.

The relationship between the two attracts all kinds of rumors, not only from their families, but from the entire country. To silence everything that is said about them, and to be able to be together, they decide to circulate a series of rumors about a fight between the two. Elisa also begins to say that she is pregnant by a man Mario, with whom she plans to marry.

Elisa and Marcela: first homosexual marriage in Spain

Marcela organizes the marriage with this man, Elisa’s cousin, raised in London for an atheist family. Not having received baptism, Mario will have to receive two sacraments on the same day: baptism and marriage. At the altar of the Church of St. George on the wedding day, Elisa, dressed as a bride, and a man with long limbs and short hair, with a small mustache and well dressed, appear. Marcela and Mario will get married in front of several witnesses, but without the presence of their families.

The priest does not suspect that Mario is actually a woman, Marcela, but Elisa’s relatives know, so the news ends up even jumping to the front page of the newspaper. La Voz de Galicia that published the news with the title “A marriage without a boyfriend”.

The two women are thus unmasked and forced to move to Portugal, where Marcela will give birth to a son. Meanwhile, an extradition order is issued in Spain, but the marriage was not canceled so it is still valid today.

The two women, before submitting to the trial, they manage to escape to Argentina and more precisely to Buenos Aires. From here, the story becomes more incomplete. The information received speaks of the suicide of Eliza in 1909 in Veracruz, Mexico after having previously married a rich man, who according to rumors of the time, intended to defraud. Elisa is never heard from again.

Elisa and Marcela’s daughter

The story of Elisa and Marcela is incredible to say the least, but we cannot forget the daughter that the couple had, who apparently grew up in Argentina with her mother Marcela, but without the presence of Elisa.

Little is known about the history of that daughter, but there is information about the granddaughter she herself had, Norma Graciela Moure.who is now 61 years old and who, seeking information about his family of Galician origin, he googled his great-grandmother’s name, Marcela Carmen Gracia, but ended up discovering that it actually belongs to Marcela Gracia Ibeas.

Seeing the photos that appeared on Google about Marcela Gracia Ibeas, she came to the conclusion that it was her great-grandmother. She always believed that her name was Marcela Carmen Gracia, without further ado, and she discovered how her ancestor had defied the laws of the beginning of the last century to be able to marry just like the person he loved. Now it has been impossible for him to know what happened to Elisa, of whom, as we say, he totally lost track of her when she escaped with Marcela.

Elisa and Marcela’s movie

Spain It has a history and experience of wide openness to the LGBTI world, especially since the end of the Franco era. A global survey titled “The Global Gap on Homosexuality” recently revealed that we are one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. Although the legislation has changed considerably over the years, Spain seems to be a champion in the promotion and guarantee of homosexual rights. Although civil unions were adopted as early as the 1990s, it is one of the first countries in Europe, as early as 2005, to adopt a law for same-sex marriages and adoption by same-sex couples.

Therefore, it can be said that the story of Elisa and Marcela perhaps marks a first moment of opening to the world of rights. The brave and at the same time dramatic story of the two women has become a movie this 2019 that we can see on Netflix.

The director and screenwriter Isabel Coixet decided to bring this story to the screen: filming took place between Galicia and Barcelona, ​​with the actresses Natalia de Molina and Greta Fernández giving life to Elisa and Marcela.

The director regarding the story that has taken to the big screen said: “I am very interested in this love story because they have been together for a long time, they have experienced many vicissitudes. They risked everything to get married ».

In an interview with the BBC, he added: “When I think about these two women and the courage it took for one of them to pretend to be a man, it was incredibly brave. I was blown away the first time I heard this story and it raised more questions than we got.”