Portuguese Parliament rejects same-sex marriage

Gay & Lesbian Times (U.S.A.) - 23-10-2008

por Rex Wockner

Two draft laws to legalize same-sex marriage were rejected overwhelmingly by the Portuguese Parliament on Oct. 10.

The measures, proposed by the Left Bloc and the Green Party, were opposed by the governing Socialist Party, the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Party.

The Left Bloc bill also would have allowed same-sex couples to adopt.

The Green Party bill would not have. Bloc and Green MPs abstained from voting on each other’s bills.

During the vote, GLBT rights groups staged two "weddings" in a Parliament stairway, attracting wide media coverage.

The ruling Socialists have said they will not support same-sex marriage until there is a broad national debate on the matter.

"Given that one of the main arguments of the (Socialists) to vote against the proposed amendments was that (same-sex marriage) was not in (their) election program, difficult times in the struggle for equality in access to civil marriage are expected in Portugal," said the news portal

A recent public-opinion poll found 42 percent support for same-sex marriage and 53 percent opposition.

Portugal has a de facto partnership law that grants limited rights to unmarried couples who have lived together for more than two years, in areas such as income tax, tenancy and immigration.

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