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Portugal’s president reluctantly approves gay marriage law

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  1. Ricardo Duarte 18 May 2010, 10:58am

    I’m proud to be Portuguese today after the approval of this new marriage law soon to come into effect. I also hope that it will demistify the stereotype that the rest of Europe has of us as being devoutly religious, Fatima piligriming backwards people. The great majority of catholic Portuguese ARE NOT PRACTICING and refer to catholicism as an identity on the world stage rather than personal devotion or conviction.

  2. The Halcyon 18 May 2010, 11:47am

    Another one in the eye for il Papa. I can’t say that makes me too sad.

  3. Vicki Morley 18 May 2010, 12:04pm

    It’s nice, for once, to see someone who’s willing to set aside their own issues with gay marriage to act in the interest’s of their country’s equality and their people’s wishes.

  4. Totally agree with Ricardo. It’s the first time, in 35 years of life, that I feel proud to be a Portuguese citizen. And I also agree that is time for the world press, *including gay websites*, to stop labelling Portugal as a “catholic country”. Portugal is not a teocracy, such as Iran or Saudi Arabia. I feel deeply offended to be put in the same pot as catholics. How would someone from Northern Ireland feel if a newspaper labelled Northern Ireland as a “catholic country” or as a “protestant country”??? The expression “..where a large majority of the population is catholic..”, used by some media in Britain, is less offensive; although is still very far from the truth, as only 2 million (out of a population of 10 million) are practicing catholics in Portugal, ACCORDING TO THE STATISTICS PUBLISHED BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. So please don’t think that all Portuguese (or Spanish, or Italians, or Irish) share the same distorted, prejudiced, backward view of the world as the leaders of the Catholic church. Most of the Portuguese population don’t believe that the world is flat and that the Sun revolves around the Earth, like Catholics do. Also, we use condoms when having sex, unlike the catholic priests who rape little children without using them. Anyway, it was very positive that the law finally was signed by the President. Now I’m waiting for the next in line for liberation, hopefully before the end of the month: Iceland, Slovenia, Luxemburg, Lichtenstein and Nepal. Yep, Nepal. Winds of change coming to Asia. LGBT greetings.

  5. Portugal: 12 points!

  6. Thomas, FloriDuh, USA 18 May 2010, 12:32pm

    Poor Papa Ratzi… Congratz Portugal!

  7. Daniel / Northern Portugal 18 May 2010, 12:36pm

    Indeed great news for Portugal, for Europe for the LGBT community as a whole!
    Our Presidents views are well known to all…he is a conversative individual and a devout Catholic. His “speech” last night on National Television was shameful. He decided to approve the bill…so politicians could concentrate on taclking the economic crisis and recovery (?!) He made pathetic comparisons to other countries where civil unions or partnerships are allowed without calling these marriages…but did not compared Portugal to Spain…obviously. The two countries are of very similar social background and identity. The sad thing is that, and on the International day against Homophobia, he did not direct a single word towards to the Portuguese Gays which will be directly affected (positevily) by this new law! Not a single word of the Portuguese society becoming a better society from today onwards…promoting therefore equality and fight agaisnt discrimination in any shape of form! Oh well…he had no choice but to pass it. A veto would have had just send the bill back to Parliament and seen it approved by the overall centre/left parties majority. Congratulations to all of those who fought and continue to fight for LGBT rights in Portugal and in the World!

  8. Daniel / Northern Portugal 18 May 2010, 12:47pm

    I fully agree with Ricardo (post 1)…the Church’s statists are just that… statistcs. Like myselft millions of Portuguese are “Catholics” only by name… andonly because we have been unfortunate enough to have been baptised! Annuling this is a bureaucrat process with the Church. This explains a few facts about comtemporary Portugal: less than 20% of Portuguese are practicing Catholics; more than half of all marriages are civil weddings, liberal divorce laws (on demand by just one of the spouses); over a third or child births are outside wedlock, abortion is legal since 2007…just to mention a few! It is far from being a perfect society, but this is a step in the right direction! Adoption by same sex couples will be a matter of time. Congrats again to Portugal!

  9. The President really had no choice, but as Daniel says, his speech was indeed extremely homophobic (what can we expect from a catholic?). Not a single word towards the meaning of the law: equality and the end of discrimination. His only concern was to juatify to the bigots who voted and will vote for him, the reasons for signing this law. But, of course, Portuguese gays will remember this homophobic speech next January, at the time of the Presidential elections. And unless Portuguese gays are masochist (which sometimes I believe they are, after learning about the existence of “gay catholic activist groups” (!!)) they will vote against Cavaco Silva, as his intention was also to vote against gays.

  10. Vincent Poffley 18 May 2010, 1:11pm

    Perhaps when his popeness visits Britain this September, to beatify a gay Victorian cardinal and get arrested for crimes against humanity, we too will realise how bigoted it is to deny full marriage rights to gay people. It would be most gratifying if Ratzinger leaves behind him a trail of gay marriage laws passed in order to protest against his evil dehumanising views. I hope you’re listening David and Nick.

  11. Portugal can, Spain can; yet, Britian cant? What the f*** is up with that?

  12. The UK is too CONSERVATIVE I am a catholic not just by name and I still support equality for gay people

  13. Well done, Portugal, congratulations for that courageous step to FULL equality. Now those who don’t want marriage equality, ask yourselves, why didn’t Portugal opt for the supposedly equal civil partnerships? Sadly, our own country will be left behind, has NO concept about the meaning of full equality. Ignorance is bliss for most I suppose, including Cameron and his allegedly pro equality stance. Mere window dressing to deceive gay voters to support them, just like Labour.

    Ciaran, you’re absolutely right about that. We are an extremely conservative country, that’s not going to change with under a Tory or Labour government. Finland will get full marriage equality in 2011, brining the EU number to 7 and growing. We won’t ever be among them, sadly, we’re not that progressive let alone radical to effect true change. Cameron, just like Brown, wouldn’t want to upset the state cult and the bigots in the House of Lords. Nothing but pure cowardice!

  14. Well done, Portugal! Another country ahead of the UK in marriage equality.

  15. Iris No. 14, yes, exactly! Its another nail in the coffin of the universality of civil partnerships which will NEVER happen. The writing is on the wall. Excuse the typographical errors in my previous post, I was just so very angry and frustrated at our own regressive government for not having the courage and the decency to do the same. Until that happens, neither Labour or Tory party will ever get my vote. They haven’t earned it! Those who vote for them are voting against themselves. Nothing worse than a gay person voting for his or her own oppressor.

  16. Well done ! Amazing something that the previous lab govt could not achieve, a govt that refused to give us gay marriage becuase of relgious reasons, a govt that argued that marriage was the traditional one between people of opposite sex, a govt that propped up unelected bishops in the house of lords ….. a govt that could not see that inequality had nothing to do with relgion…

  17. Tim Hopkins 18 May 2010, 3:41pm

    Pink News writes “some argue that ‘separate but not equal’ is not good enough”. It’s going to be harder for us to acheive equality while some of the voices on our own side aren’t fully signed up to it. I wonder if Pink News would think it would be OK, because some people don’t like mixed-race marriages, to ban mixed-race marriage and offer mixed-race mixed-sex couples civil partnership instead?

  18. Every Portuguese can be proud today! Forca Portugal.

    Also Kudos to PinkNews for raising awareness about the “separate but equal” status in the UK. I recently spoke to some Brits at a gay rights event in China who claimed “we got it all”. We don’t. It’s still unjust. Most gays are unfortunately not even bothered. It needs to change first before we can change the country’s understanding.

  19. BrazilBoysBlog 18 May 2010, 4:23pm

    I agree that this is one up the behind for his popeiness Ratty.

    Lets hope he leaves behind him a similar trail of equal rights laws wherever he goes! Good for Portugal.

    If this is the case, please, lets have a papal visit to Brazil next! :-)

    Brazil is also a country that is very catholic in name, but not so much in practice. Its funny really to see it here. There seems to be churches on nearly every street.. often in just little one-room buildings and shop-fronts, but going past them, I see loads with just a couple of people inside listening to some preacher.

    Even the larger churches that are well attended, it seems that the people here largely go through the motions. A lot of them are not what they catholic church would call ´practicing´.

    There was the recent case (in March 2009) here in Brazil of the 9 year old girl who had been sexually abused by her stepfather since she was 6 years old. She became pregnant with twins and although abortion is still illegal here (apart from for medical needs), a doctor performed an abortion on the girl to save her life.

    What was the catholic churches response? The Brazilian archbishop excommunicated the doctor who performed the abortion, the medical team who assisted him, AND THE GIRLS MOTHER!

    They did not excommunicate the girl as minors are ´exempt´ from excommunication. (So it would appear, are child molesters as the stepfather was also not excommunicated) Clearly shows where the catholic churches priorities are?

    Even the Brazilian President Lula joined the public battle against the church. An evil was committed against this young girl. Her life was placed in danger by her stepfathers abuse, the laws of Brazil allowed doctors to step in and save this girls life, but the catholic church tried to interfere in Brazils laws and medical system. Which is the evil here?

    “God’s law is above human laws,” catholic archbishop Sobrinho said at the time….. Sorry Archbish, no it isn´t! Maybe in your own sick twisted sky-pilot-believing make believe existence it is, but not in mine!

    How dare the catholic church try to interfere in the laws of another country? How dare they try to dictate how we all should live our lives? I am truly sick of it..
    Thankfully most Brazilians, whilst paying ´lip service´ to the catholic church, do not follow it´s practices. Condoms are handed out free by the bucket load by local authorities and are government funded.

    Forget the muslim faiths for now… The catholic church with pope ratty at its helm is our public enemy number ONE!

    Child abuse = Indiscretion…
    Abortion = Mortal sin….
    Pedo priests = Indiscretion
    Gay equal right = Mortal sin.

    Bullsh-t. catholics…..Get over yourselves!

    The pope is coming to the UK to try and interfere some more…

    Protest! Protest! Protest!

    Arrest this pedo-enabler!

  20. Agree with Vince on every point but one, we cannot forget the virulent spread of any of the middle eastern religions that suffocate the life of the entire planet and all the people on it – even the ones who are ignorant enough to think it is helping them, until like in Indonesia they are all of a sudden surprised they have less freedom every day. As Harry Truman and Winston Churchill said many times “The only future you do not know is the history you have not studied”. Look at the history of all middle eastern religion from day one to the present and be afraid, these morons will not stop until they destroy every last living thing on the planet. Funny the only intelligent thing the papa razi ever said was reminding people of the problems the Byzantine Emperors had with Islam. Sad too it was one of the only things the filthy moron ever said that anyone in his morally bankrupt church ever chastised him for. Most of the mistakes the Byzantine Emperors made are being made again by today’s leaders. Ah, the definition of insanity….. doing the same things expecting different results…………

  21. Parabens a todos os portugêses que tão lutavam pra conseguir este avance social tão importante não somente para o seu pais mas tambêm pra todos nos ainda esperando isto em muitos outros paises da Europa.

  22. I’m sick of everyone telling that Portugal is a super-dooper catholic country, hate it. Almost no one cares about religion here. Just like what some of you said here, I0m also baptized, i believe i belong to the culture of Catholicism, but i’m not religious, not s single bit, no way José.

    His speech was horrible, terrifying. I’d like the LGBT movement to ask for an appoligee from the Presidencie of the Republic (weather it would be Cavaco or another President at the time to ask for appologgees and give us the right speech).

    We still do not have full equality, we will now fight for Parenthood rights and for Transgender people rights.

    Força Portugal!

  23. Congratulations Portugal. Time to celebrate!!

  24. Well if Portugal and Spain can do it, why not Britain?

    The key to progression for gay rights in Europe is Socialist governments. For example, if the French elect a socialist government in their next election you can be sure France will legalise gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt. That would make my day – then I could become a dual British-French citizen and spend my summers living in a second home in Provence with my future family.
    France has been under the centre-right for quite some time – yet they have most of the LGBT protection found here in Britain, with the exception of adoption rights and surrogacy provisions. Although left wing Labour have done a lot for gay rights (which I do praise), they have not managed to legalise gay marriage in 13 years of government.

    So now it’s France and Germany to look to now. Also, if Spain and Portugal can do it, then so can Italy.

    So France could be the next breakthrough in the struggle for gay marriage in Europe (unless it happens in Britain before that). It can only be a matter of time.

    France – Socialist Party victory in next election – same-sex marriage would be legalised in France in 2012 or 2013.

  25. I know, I’m a bad, imperfect human being but I love the thought of the pope barely setting foot out of the country after campaigning against gay rights only to see the country legalise same-sex marriage a few days later…

  26. val, you are so bad.

    We’ll let it go this time…he he.

  27. “I know, I’m a bad, imperfect human being but I love the thought of the pope barely setting foot out of the country after campaigning against gay rights only to see the country legalise same-sex marriage a few days later…”

    I know, the same thing succoured to me, so sweet isn’t it?

    And well done Portugal! Makes me think when Ireland will have the balls to do the same.

  28. “occurred” not “succoured”, sorry….

  29. I wish the gay camaingers of the UK would read these comments, didn’t Stonewall say somewhere that civil partnerships were sufficient for us Brits…….Talk for yourselves guys not the gay community, it’s one of the main reasons I couldn’t face voting for labour and never will until they change their stance on it ….

  30. Daniel / Northern Portugal 19 May 2010, 10:23am

    Right to ADOPTION is the next challenge for Portuguese gay couples (single gays already can adopt)! The new law creates a new unconstitutionality between gay and straight couples. All its needed is for a gay married couple to challenge this law. When they submit a request to start proceeding to adopt – this is likely to be rejected – they will need to take up their case to court all the way to the Constitutional Court. It will simply be a matter of time…unless the centre-left wing parties push for new legislation but unlikely to happen during the current mandate.

  31. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 19 May 2010, 1:35pm

    Iceland will be next in-line for full gay marriage in Europe!!!!! – They already have full adoption rights for gay couples. They do have a female feminist lesbian prime minister in Government.

    Luxembourg, Slovenia, Finland and Andorra will have gay marriage (including adoption rights) within the next 5 years.
    NOTE: Andorra already has full adoption rights.

    Denmark, France, UK, Germany will NOT have gay marriage because of conservative right-wing Governments are currently in power in these 4 countries!!!!
    NOTE: UK and Denmark already have full adoption rights for gay couples.

    Albania allowing gay marriage was a complete hoax!!!

    Remember adoption rights did come in Belgium in 2005 – AFTER same sex marriage was made legal 2 years before in 2003. Now Portugal is doing exactly what Belgium did – history tells us that “history does repeat itself time and time again”!

  32. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 19 May 2010, 1:39pm

    Congradulations Portugal – piss of pope!!!!!

  33. James, No. 24, expect NOTHING from Cameron, he’s made that quite clear. Its not going to happen in the UK, we have a two party system this is basicallyi retarded in its thinking on this one issue alone. They’re delusional along with Pink News and StonewallUK if they think civil partnerships are sufficient. It only proves that devolution exists in the Labour and Tory parties combined. If they think CPs are so equal, why aren’t other countries imitating us? Why has Portugal abandoned its onw civil unions since 2001, long before we ever conceived of any same-sex partnerships? The simple fact is they’re not and won’t ever be the norm for gays anywhere in the EU. Six countries in Europe with full marriage equality, I can’t even count six countries with CPs. So Brown’s argument that marriage is tied up with religious freedom has now been debunked by Portugal, its nothing more than a red herring to avoid the obvious. Notice how quickly Cameron back-peddled on it, the coward that he is. He’s no friend of full equality just like his predecessor and those in the gay voting bloc who are against it which proves none of them support full equality. Why would anyone want to vote for one’s oppressor which is what a ban on our marrying implies. Its sick and so are the people who do just that, voting against themselves for selfish reasons and voting against the rights of others who want it.

    I predict Denmark will be next. If France and Germany join the others, its going to make us look even more absurd and out of touch. Just like everything else, we’ll probably end up being dragged kicking and screaming on this one. We do almost NOTHING voluntarily on equality unlike other nations. You can bet Nick Clegg will do nothing too.

  34. 82 Portugal decriminalizes homossexuality;
    99 Portuguese LGB are able to serve openly in the military;
    01 Unregistered cohabitation is extended to same-sex couples;
    03 Protection in LabourCode(access,descrimination and haressment);
    04 Sexual orientation is included in Portuguese Constitution;
    07 Penal Code (age of consentment,violence and hate crimes);
    09 Sexual education in schools includes sexual orientation themes;
    10 Legalized same-sex marriage;
    10 Men who have sex with men are now able to donate blood.

    to come:
    > Parenting (adoption, co-adoption and AMP);
    > Law for gender identity;
    > Recognition of asylum for LGBT people.

  35. Daniel / Northern Portugal 19 May 2010, 2:15pm

    Good post (34) Gonçalo. It shows how far we’ve come in so little time and against all the odds. Work to be done on taclking homophobia too, especially in rural areas. Cumprimentos

  36. Paul Mitchell: No, you’re not right about Denmark: same-sex marriage is being debated here in parliament at the moment, and all the main parties agree with it. It’s likely to come into effect next year. The one thing Danes hate is being left behind by either Swedes or Norwegians.

  37. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 20 May 2010, 3:50am


    Denmark has had registered partnerships since 1989 and Iceland has had registered partnerships since 1996 – why are they both still stuffing about on the gay marriage issue?????

    It is because they are liberal on the outside and conservative on the inside like a watermelon!!!!!

  38. Paul, most Danes think they already have gay marriage here. The registered partnership is, just like in the UK, a civil marriage in all but name. People talk of gay couples “getting married”, just as in the UK. The difference here in Denmark, though, is that the Church has less influence on the Government than in the UK: if the Parliament votes through gay marriage, the state Church accepts that it must amend its rules at the same and allow same-sex marriage in church, as in Sweden. A big majority of church members, clergy and bishops is in favour of the change, so it will certainly go through smoothly.

    I think one big difference between Scandinavia and the UK is that no-one in Scandinavia gets very worked up about sex at all, gay or straight. They are very matter-of-fact about it all, and there is no visceral gay-is-awful lobby like there is amongst British social or religious conservatives.

  39. Congratualtions Portugal – Another step in the right direcion – now for the full adoption rights for gay couples.

  40. I agree with the penultimate point in particular. It’s wrong to have a separate but equal policy defining marriage and civil partnerships as different. I’m a heterosexual married male but I would be happy to see “marriage” used purely as a social and cultural convention but the legal aspect defined separately as civil partnership for all, whether gay or straight. That would undo the “gay marriage” taboo and also encourage pluralism, so that all people could define marriage as they see fit, according to their beliefs, without putting gay people at a disadvantage in law. Unfortunately, traditionalist and religious interests would see this as “watering down” the “institution” of marriage, so I’m not particularly confident that this ideal situation, as I see it, will ever come about like this.

    Whatever the solution, however, it must not discriminate either in favour or against any group. Even those that disapprove of homosexuality for religious reasons cannot expect to be able to condemn others who do believe in the gay lifestyle to a second class status. It’s partly for this reason that I think established religions should be avoided, and that secularist government is fairer to all, including to religious people.

    You will gather, of course, that I personally think gay people should be able to choose to define their relationships by the same legal contracts as anybody else, or not, according to their choice.

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