1960-07-20

PEDRO ZEROLO is a Spanish lawyer and politician, currently a town councilman of the city of Madrid, and a member of the Federal Executive Committee of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party. He’s a trustee of the Fundacion IDEAS, Spain’s Socialist Party’s think tank and he was born on this date in Caracas, Venezuela.

His father lived in exile from the Franco government. He studied law in the Canary Islands at the University of La Laguna on Tenerife. After earning 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. 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) the main LGBT organisation in Spain. He was reelected in 2000 and 2002. In 2004 he joined the board of directors of ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association. Zerolo was a key activist in Spain’s move for civil partnerships, addressing the Spanish Congress of Deputies and the Spanish Senate to denounce discrimination against the gay community in Spain. He was also one of the chief negotiators over five modifications to the Spanish Civil Code relating to same-sex marriage. On October 1, 2005, Zerolo married Jesús Santos, his partner of ten years, in a civil ceremony.

According to Andres Duque from the Spanish language blog, Blabbeando, “There will be a day in which the untold history of how the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) and the Spanish National Federation of Gays and Lesbians (FELGBT) traveled to Latin America and planted some of the seeds for marriage equality in Argentina and Uruguay after securing passage of their own law in 2005. Those efforts were led by the Venezuelan-born attorney and Spanish council member Pedro Zerolo who never lost sight of Latin America despite living in Spain for more than two decades.”

On October 1, 2005, Zerolo married Jesús Santos, his partner of ten years, in a civil ceremony. Zerolo died from pancreatic  cancer on June 9, 2015 in Madrid. He was 55.

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