According to the Barry Hatton of the Canadian Press, Portugal's parliament today passed a same-sex marriage law in a country that, like neighboring Spain, is overwhelmingly Catholic. It is thought unlikely that President Anibal Cavaco Silva will veto the bill. As a result, Portugal could be the sixth European country to provide same-sex marriage. Less than thirty years ago, homosexuality was illegal in the country.
"This law rights a wrong," Prime Minister Jose Socrates (left) said in a speech to lawmakers, adding that it "simply ends pointless suffering."
Civil unions between same-sex couples have been available in Portugal since 2001. These agreements granted certain legal, tax and property rights, but it did not allow couples to take their partner's name, inherit their possessions, and other rights associated with marriage.
Next on the agenda for the LGBT rights movement in Portugal is passing a law allowing adoption by same-sex couples.