Divided Portugal court upholds gay marriage ban

LISBON Sat Aug 1, 2009 5:53am IST

Related Topics

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's Constitutional Court on Friday upheld a ban on same-sex marriages, just two months before a general election in which the ruling Socialist Party is campaigning to allow such unions.

The court said in a statement it had reviewed a successful appeal by two women, Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao, against an earlier court ruling, which had denied them the right to wed, and reverted to the lower court's verdict by three votes to two.

The women were first denied the right to marry in a civil registry office in 2006 and have since been trying to overturn the decision using an article of the constitution which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"The decision makes more evident the urgency of solving this issue via parliament by parties wanting to fight discrimination and promote basic equality," the Portuguese chapter of the International Gay and Lesbian Association said in a statement.

It said it was important that the court's decision was not unanimous and cited growing social and political support of its cause, expecting changes to occur in parliament soon.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jose Socrates and his Socialist Party presented its manifesto for the Sept. 27 general election. Allowing people of the same sex to wed in the predominantly Roman Catholic country was among the proposals.

Opinion polls show the ruling party virtually even with the opposition Social Democrats.

The latest poll by published on Friday by SIC/Expresso/Radio Renascenca showed the Socialists with 33 percent of voting intentions and the Social Democrats with 31.1 percent. Undecided voters made up 22.8 percent.

Gay marriage is allowed in neighbouring Spain as well as in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Canada and some U.S. states.

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Markets Weekahead

Markets Weekahead

Column - Caution advised in a trader’s market  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

RBI seen holding rates steady on Tuesday, minority of analysts expect cut  Full Article 

GDP Revised

GDP Revised

Economic growth revised up by almost 50 percent  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Hingis wins Australian Open mixed doubles title with Paes   Full Article 

Houston's Daughter

Houston's Daughter

Bobbi Kristina Brown revived after found unresponsive in tub  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

Review: Hawaizaada

Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage