HRC Blog

Marriage Equality Gains New Momentum in Europe this Week

Setting aside his “personal convictions,” Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva announced Monday that he will ratify a law legalizing same-sex marriage in the country.  Portugal’s parliament passed the bill in January, with strong support from all of Portugal’s left-of-center parties.  Same-sex couples in Portugal have been able to enter into civil unions since 2001. President Silva’s announcement comes only days after Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the predominantly Catholic country, during which the Pope characterized same-sex marriage as one of the most "insidious and dangerous" threats facing the world.  Portugal is set to become the sixth European country to allow same-sex marriage, joining Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway.  Outside of the Europe, South Africa and Canada are the only other countries that recognize same-sex marriages.

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