Six months after a gay marriage law
took effect in Portugal, 221 gay and lesbian couples have married,
the AFP reported
The figures were released Friday by the
Ministry of Justice.
One-hundred-fifty-six of the couples
were male and sixty-five were female.
An additional 202 marriages in which
one of the spouses is a Portuguese citizen were performed outside the
country. Nineteen gay couples married in Portuguese consulates
around the world.
Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister
Jose Socrates, approved the gay marriage bill in February.
Portugal's conservative president,
Anibal Cavaco Silva, reluctantly signed the gay marriage bill into
law on May 17, saying he was only doing so because Social Democrats
were certain to overturn a veto.
Social conservatives had urged the
president to veto the bill.
Days before the bill's signing, Pope
Benedict condemned the institution as he toured the predominantly
Roman Catholic nation. Speaking in the city of Fatima, the pope
called gay marriage “insidious and dangerous” and urged Catholics
to stand united in opposition.
The law does not allow gay and lesbian
couples to adopt children.