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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine Crisis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Miners Rescued

Miners Rescued

20 miners rescued from Nicaragua gold mine after landslide.  Full Article 

Terrorism Threat

Terrorism Threat

Saudi king warns of terrorism threat to U.S., Europe.  Full Article 

Struggling For Food

Struggling For Food

Drought leaves up to 2.81 mln hungry in Central America - U.N.  Full Article 

EU Top Jobs

EU Top Jobs

After hard bargaining, EU set for deal on new leadership.  Full Article 

Ebola Spreads

Ebola Spreads

Ebola outbreak reaches Senegal, riots break out in Guinea.  Full Article 

Embarrassing Twist

Embarrassing Twist

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif distances himself from army as crisis drags on.  Full Article 

Grave Risk

Grave Risk

Britain raises its terrorism threat level over Syria, Iraq.  Full Article 

Territorial Gains

Territorial Gains

Islamist gains in Syria alarm some Assad allies.  Full Article 

Safety Checks

Safety Checks

Captain of doomed S.Korea ferry says lack of checks was customary - Yonhap.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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