Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva has forwarded a gay marriage bill approved by Parliamentarians to the nation's Constitutional Court, Lisbon's Diario de Noticias reported.

Cavaco Silva asked the court to review the constitutionality of 4 out of 5 of the bill's articles. Article 3, which was not forwarded, would forbid married gay and lesbian couples from adopting children.

The Constitutional Court has already ruled against gay marriage. In a narrow 3-to-2 decision last year, the court denied a lesbian couple the right to marry, despite a provision in the constitution that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The nation's Socialist-controlled Parliament, led by Prime Minister Jose Socrates, approved the measure on February 11.

Cavaco Silva's conservative PSD party opposes giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.

Opposition to gay marriage in the mostly Roman Catholic country has been nominal, but opponents did stage a huge rally attended by thousands after lawmakers approved the bill.

While the Roman Catholic Church loudly protested the 2005 passage of a gay marriage bill in neighboring Spain, the church's opposition in Portugal has been muted. However, Pope Benedict is widely expected to criticize the measure when he visits the country in May.

According to Portugal's Constitution, the Constitutional Court has 25 days to review the president's request.

Gay marriage is legal in five European counties, including Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and, most recently, Sweden.