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spainReacting to concerns that elderly gay people will be forced back into the closet when reaching retirement home age, a group of Spanish gay men are in the process of setting up what will be the country’s first gay and lesbian retirement home.

Federico Armenteros, who heads a gay and lesbian NGO called December 26 and is behind the new retirement home told the Guardian, “This will be a place that is open to everyone and where no one will have to hide their sexuality.” The home will be based in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, close to the Spanish capital of Madrid.  It will house 230 residents.

A spokesman for Rivas-Vaciamadrid town hall, Emilio Silva, said the retirement home had passed through council planning procedures without any uproar.

“This is a tolerant town,” he said. “We put the land out to tender for people to come up with projects that were socially useful, and this is the one that won.”

Now that the retirement home has secured a site, financial backing through a co-op scheme to fund the bank mortgage needs to be raised.

Armenteros hopes the home will be up and running by 2014.

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