Love is love, and it always has been.
Love is the driving force behind many desperate and heroic acts. It certainly was the driving force behind one particular act that happened in the Spanish town of A Coruña back in 1901.
You see, a very important wedding took place that year. But, at the time, none of the guests, including the priest, knew the significance of this particular nuptial.
However, the fresh-faced groom “Mario” did look a bit unusual. That’s probably because “Mario” was actually a woman called Elisa.
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In 1901, Marcela Gracia Ibeas and Elisa Sánchez Loriga were married at the San Jorge church in the northwestern Spanish town.This was the first and only same-sex marriage recorded in the Spanish Catholic Church.
However, the couple’s small victory was short-lived, and the women spent the rest of their lives running from persecution across two continents.
The two lovers met in a school in A Coruña while they were both studying to be teachers, and fell in love immediately. Soon after, Marcela’s mother grew suspicious of the relationship and sent her daughter to Madrid. But love, like life, always finds a way, and they met again while teaching at neighboring schools, and soon the relationship was rekindled.
It wasn’t long before Marcela announced she would marry her cousin “Mario” from London. The two were married by the local priest without incident, but their ruse was exposed the very next day by a local newspaper, proclaiming there was no groom.
The women fled to Porto, Portugal, and eventually to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to avoid extradition. It was reported that Marcela was pregnant by an unknown man when they were married, and she gave birth to a daughter before they left Porto.
So for them, we say: Love is love, and it always will be. Happy Pride if you celebrate.