Main | Monday, February 22, 2010

Thousands Protest Portugal Marriage Law

Yesterday thousands of anti-gay protesters marched in Lisbon to protest Portugal's pending marriage equality law.
Organizers estimated the event, called “in defense of the family,” attracted a crowd of 5,000, but no official figures were reported. Demonstrators marched down Lisbon's main downtown artery Av. da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue) calling on President Anibal Cavaco Silva to reject a gay marriage law approved twice by lawmakers. Silva is a Roman Catholic and a member of the PSD party, groups which oppose the legalization of gay marriage, and he has publicly stated his opposition to gay marriage. However, Silva has several options before him, including vetoing the bill. Commentators in the Portuguese press have speculated he could forward the issue to the Constitutional Court. Last year, despite the fact that Portugal's Constitution outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation, the court denied a lesbian couple the right to marry in a narrow 3-to-2 decision. The ruling prompted Socialists to draft the gay marriage bill. Protesters are also demanding a referendum on gay marriage, although Parliamentarians have already rejected such a measure.
Many more photos of the protest.

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