- Title: PORTUGAL: Parliament approves same sex marriages
- Date: 9th January 2010
- Summary: LISBON, PORTUGAL (JANUARY 08, 2010) (REUTERS) DEBATE ABOUT SAME SEX MARRIAGES IN PORTUGUESE PARLIAMENT PEOPLE WATCHING DEBATE PAN OF THE PARLIAMENT SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) JOSE SOCRATES, PORTUGUESE PRIME MINISTER, SAYING: "With the adoption of this law the National Assembly makes a decisive step against discrimination, by making possible the civil marriage between same sex couples." SAME SEX COUPLE WATCHING DEBATE SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) JOSE SOCRATES, PORTUGUESE PRIME MINISTER, SAYING: "A very clear objective, a small change in the law, but an important and symbolic step towards the full realization of values that are the pillars of open and tolerant democratic societies, values of freedom, the values of equality and the values of non - discrimination." PARLIAMENT VOTING THE BILL PEOPLE WATCHING VARIOUS OF APPLAUDING AFTER APPROVAL EXTERIOR OF THE PARLIAMENT WITH SAME SEX MARRIAGES SUPPORTERS SAME SEX COUPLE TOASTING AND KISSING WEDDING CAKE SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) FRANCISCO LOUÃ‡A, LEFT BLOC LEADER, SAYING: "It's a major step, the beginning of a process, because now the law will be discussed in detail and I hope it's a good law because it adds decency and democracy in the country and and I think that's what is important." MAN CUTTING WEDDING CAKE SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) ANABELA NOBRE, LISBON RESIDENT, SAYING, "I think this is excellent, it's an advance against discrimination in favour of persons and human rights." SAME SEX MARRIAGES SUPPORTERS CELEBRATING SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) IVAN DUARTE, LISBON RESIDENT, SAYING, "It is a setback for our society and we are constantly losing values, especially the value of the family. The family has always been a man and woman is this conception that I have and that several people have." SAME SEX COUPLE TOASTING WIDE OF SAME SEX MARRIAGES SUPPORTERS OUTSIDE THE PARLIAMENT COUPLE WAVING FLAG
- Embargoed: 24th January 2010 12:00
- Location: Portugal
- Country: Portugal
- Topics: General,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA6R2FMYTJADBHWADOIWUA1FP9T
- Story Text: The Portuguese parliament on Friday (January 8) passed the Socialist government's bill to legalise same-sex marriages, with Prime Minister Jose Socrates saying the move is a step in the fight against discrimination.
Socrates' minority government pushed the bill through the house with support from left wing parties, while centre-right party PSD's proposal for civil partnerships was rejected as was right-wing CDS-PP's petition for a referendum on the matter.
"It's a small change in the law, but a very important and symbolic step to fully realise values that are pillars of open, tolerant and democratic societies: freedom, equality and non-discrimination," Socrates said in parliament.
The bill gives gay marriages the same rights as heterosexual marriages, including those on taxes, inheritance and housing, but does not offer the right to adopt.
Gay and lesbian groups were encouraged by a referendum that overturned a ban on abortion in 2007, but their hopes were dashed by the rejection of the Left Bloc's gay marriage bill and by a Constitutional Court upholding of a ban last year.
Friday's bill gave cause for celebration, with around 70 supporters in the house cheering when the result was announced.
They continued celebrating outside, drinking champagne and cutting wedding cakes decorated with same-sex dolls.
"It's a major step, the beginning of a process, because now the law will be discussed in detail and I hope it's a good law because it adds decency and democracy to the country and I think that's what is important," said Left Bloc leader Francisco Louca.
"I think this is excellent, it's an advance against discrimination in favour of persons and human rights," said Lisbon resident Anabela Nobre.
But not everyone was pleased with the result, with those against the legalisation saying it changes the concept of family.
"It was a setback for our society and we are constantly losing values, especially the value of the family. The family has always been a man and woman. This is the conception that I have and that several people have," said Ivan Duarte, also from Lisbon.
The Catholic Church also called for a referendum, saying it would recommend a vote against the legalisation.
If ratified by conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal will join Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa and Canada in allowing gay marriages. All of those countries allow gay married couples to adopt children.
Same-sex marriages are legal in five U.S. states, but its supporters suffered a setback on Thursday when New Jersey's Senate defeated a bill to legalise such marriages. Several other countries allow same-sex civil partnerships but not marriages.
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