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Portugal is likely to become the sixth European nation—after Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands—to legalize gay marriage. The Portuguese government has proposed to change the country’s official definition of marriage to include same-sex unions. —KA
AP via Google News:
The law is almost certain to pass, as the center-left Socialist government has the support of all left-of-center parties, who together have a majority in Parliament. Right-of-center parties oppose the measure.
The proposal changes Portuguese law to remove references to marriage being between two people of different sexes, Cabinet Minister Pedro Silva Pereira told a news conference Thursday, adding the government will send its proposal to lawmakers for a debate, probably in January.
If approved by Parliament, the proposed law goes to Portugal’s conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who can ratify or veto it. A veto can be overturned by Parliament.
If there is no presidential veto, the first gay marriage ceremonies could take place in April — a month before Pope Benedict XVI is due on a four-day official visit.
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