Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Brazil's presidential election seen from the web

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ivory Coast launches the "Soap Bucket Challenge"

Read more

#TECH 24

Anonymous Vs ISIS

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

Europe

Parliament legalises same-sex marriage, but not adoption

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-08

Portugal's parliament has voted to legalise gay marriage but will not allow adoption by same-sex couples. In a speech before the vote, Prime Minister Jose Socrates said the new law was "designed to redress the decades of injustice".

AFP - Portugal's parliament approved a bill to legalise same sex marriages on Friday, less than 30 years after the country revoked its ban on homosexuality.

Lawmakers rejected proposals to allow gay couples to adopt, but otherwise the bill passed with little public controversy in what has traditionally been one of Europe's most socially conservative countries.

In contrast to Spain, where the run-up to the legalisation of gay marriage in 2005 brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, the bill in Portugal provoked only muted opposition even from the political right.

After less than three hours' debate, Friday's parliamentary vote went mainly along party lines, with the left-wing majority backing the measure proposed by Prime Minister Jose Socrates and the right-wing opposition voting against.

It will now be reviewed in committee before coming back for a final vote in parliament, and could gain final approval before a visit by Pope Benedict XVI, due in Portugal in May.

Gay rights campaigners outside parliament greeted the result with cries of joy and celebrated with champagne and wedding cake.

Socrates said the aim of the legislation was to remedy decades of injustice towards gays, recalling that as recently as 1982 homosexuality was a crime in Portugal.

Parliament also defeated a demand backed by the right for a referendum following a petition which collected more than 90,000 signatures.

While normally vocal on the role of marriage and the family in society, the Catholic Church refused to mobilise on the issue, which Lisbon's Cardinal Patriarch Jose Policarpo said was "parliament's responsibility".

Date created : 2010-01-08

  • MALAWI

    'Newly-wed' gay couple to stay in jail

    Read more

  • USA

    New York state rejects gay marriage

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Court grants homosexual woman the right to adopt a child

    Read more

COMMENT(S)