Excellent news on Portugal's marriage equality bill that passed in January. President Anibal Cavaco Silva says he will sign the same-sex marriage bill, reports the Associated Press.
"President Anibal Cavaco Silva said in a nationally televised address...vetoing
the bill would only send it back to Parliament where lawmakers would
overturn his decision, he said, adding that the country needed to focus
on overcoming an economic crisis that has increased unemployment and
deepened poverty. The Socialist government's bill was backed by
all of Portugal's left-of-center parties, who together have a majority
in Parliament. Right-of-center parties opposed the measure and demanded a
national referendum. 'Given that fact, I feel I should not
contribute to a pointless extension of this debate, which would only
serve to deepen the divisions between the Portuguese and divert the
attention of politicians away from the grave problems affecting us,'
Cavaco Silva said. He said that, in ratifying the law, he was
setting aside 'personal convictions.'"
The conservative and overwhelmingly Catholic nation becomes the sixth European country allowing same-sex couples to wed. Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway also allow marriage equality. Five U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, as have Canada, South Africa and Mexico City.
Cavaco Silva's announcement comes on the International Day Against Homophobia. Bravo and congratulations Portugal.