The secretary general of the Portuguese Communist Party has expressed confidence that the country's Constitutional Court will validate a gay marriage bill, the AP reported.

Portugal's Socialist-controlled Parliament, led by Prime Minister Jose Socrates, approved the bill that gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry but prohibits adoption on February 11. Instead of vetoing the bill, President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who opposes the legislation, asked the court to review the constitutionality of 4 out of 5 of the bill's articles. He did not forward Article 3, which would ban adoption by married gay couples.

Jeronimo de Sousa, secretary general of the Portuguese Communist Party and a 2006 presidential candidate, said Saturday that the bill did not violate the constitution.

“We hope that the Constitutional Court will confirm the validity of the law passed in the Parliament,” Sousa said.

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.