Portugal Hub

Pope Says Gays Endanger Humanity


In a statement linked to the Portuguese parliament's recent approval of marriage equality, Pope Benedict says that ignoring the difference between the sexes is an attack on creation, the AFP reports:

"Creatures, including humans, 'can be protected or endangered', the pope, 82, told the Vatican diplomatic corps in a traditional January address focusing mainly on environmental issues.' One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes,' he said, citing 'certain countries in Europe or North and South America'. Portugal's parliament last Friday approved plans to legalise gay marriage, and a final vote could occur before a visit by the pope in May. Also last week, two men became the first homosexual couple to legally marry in Latin America, in the southern Argentine province of Ushuaia. 'Freedom cannot be absolute,' the pontiff said. 'For man, the path to be taken cannot be determined by caprice or wilfulness, but must rather correspond to the structure willed by the Creator,' he said."

Portugal's Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriage

Portugal's parliament has approved a same-sex marriage bill, the AP reports:

Portugal "The Socialist government's bill won the support of all left-of-center parties Friday. Right-of-center parties opposed the change and argued it should be put to a national referendum. The proposed law now goes to conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva who can ratify or veto it, but a veto can be overturned by Parliament. Its approval would make Portugal the sixth European country to allow same-sex marriages. Prime Minister Jose Socrates said the measure is part of his effort to modernize Portugal. Two years ago his government lifted Portugal's ban on abortion."

Unfortunately, the parliament also rejected a bill that would have allowed gay couples to adopt.

Portugal Poised to Pass Marriage Equality

A vote on Friday is likely to usher in marriage equality in the heavily-Catholic nation of Portugal, AFP reports:

Portugal "With the governing Socialists and other left-wing parties enjoying a strong majority, the new law is likely to sail through the first reading debate and gain final approval before a visit by Pope Benedict XVI, due in Portugal in May. In contrast to Spain, where the lead-up to the legalisation of gay marriage in 2005 brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, the bill in Portugal has provoked only muted opposition even from the right. While normally vocal on the role of marriage and the family in society, the Catholic Church has refused to mobilise on a subject which, according to Lisbon's Cardinal Patriarch Jose Policarpo, is "parliament's responsibility". "I think the Portuguese people have learnt one of the fundamental tenets of democracy: respect for the rights of the individual," Miguel Vale de Almeida, Portugal's first openly-gay lawmaker who was elected in September, told AFP. Vale de Almeida, who is the Socialists' pointman on the legislation, said there is now a political majority in favour of gay marriage and that it is "too simplistic to link Catholicism and conservatism."

Portugal would join Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Belgium in allowing gay couples to marry.

Portugal Marriage Equality Bill Likely to Pass [tr]

Portugal Marriage Equality Bill Likely to Pass

Protugal may soon be the sixth European country with marriage equality, as the government has drawn up a bill, the AP reports:

Portugal "The law is almost certain to pass, as the center-left Socialist government has the support of all left-of-center parties, who together have a majority in Parliament. Right-of-center parties oppose the measure. The proposal changes Portuguese law to remove references to marriage being between two people of different sexes, Cabinet Minister Pedro Silva Pereira told a news conference Thursday, adding the government will send its proposal to lawmakers for a debate, probably in January. If approved by Parliament, the proposed law goes to Portugal's conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who can ratify or veto it. A veto can be overturned by Parliament. If there is no presidential veto, the first gay marriage ceremonies could take place in April— a month before Pope Benedict XVI is due on a four-day official visit."

Portugal would join Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Belgium in allowing gay couples to marry.

Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo Sings a Love Song


Turn up the auto-tune. Portuguese footballer and future Armani underwear model Cristiano Ronaldo is exercising his pipes for a television ad for Portuguese bank BES.


Continue reading "Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo Sings a Love Song" »

Portuguese High Court Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Two lesbians who mounted a challenge against the Portuguese government in a bid to wed have lost that challenge. The nation's High Court voted against them today, the AP reports:

Portugal "The court said its five judges ruled 3-2 against an appeal lodged by the women two years ago. Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao, divorced mothers in their 30s who have been together as a couple since 2003, were turned away by a Lisbon registry office when they attempted to marry in 2006 because the law stipulates that marriage is between people of different genders. Portugal's constitution, however, also forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. The women took the case to a Lisbon court, which rejected their unprecedented challenge. After considering their appeal against that decision, the Constitutional Court said in a statement posted on its Web site that the constitution does not state that same-sex marriages must be permitted. The court said the question before it was not whether the constitution allows same-sex marriages, but whether the constitution compels them to be accepted, which it does not."


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