Portugal's Parliament approved a gay
marriage bill on Thursday, the AP reported. The bill, however, does
not include the right to adopt.
Passage of the bill in the
Socialist-controlled Parliament was never in doubt, but a
presidential veto threatens to prevent the bill from becoming law.
President Anibal Cavaco Silva is a
Roman Catholic and a member of the PSD Party, groups which oppose the
legalization of gay marriage, and he has publicly stated his
opposition to the bill. The president has 20 days to reject the
Socialists and their allied parties,
however, say they have the votes to override a presidential veto.
Last July, Portugal's Constitutional
Court upheld the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban, denying a
lesbian couple the right to marry. In a 3 to 2 decision, the court
said that while the Constitution outlaws discrimination based on
sexual orientation, it does not say gay marriage must be permitted.
After the loss, Prime Minister Jose
Socrates, who heads the Socialist Party, pledged to introduce a gay
marriage bill if returned to power in the general election.
It's possible President Silva could
forward the issue to the Constitutional Court, commentators have
speculated in the Portuguese press.
The Vatican condemned the legalization
of gay marriage in neighboring Spain in 2005 and has called for the
ouster of Socialists in the country, but opposition in Portugal has
Gay marriage is legal in five European
counties, including Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and, most