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Gay Marriage Prospects Strong in Portugal


A marriage equality law to be debated early next year in Portugal appears likely to reach the desk of President Anibal Cavaco Silva (pictured), whose potential veto could be overturned by parliament.

The law, drawn up by the center-left Socialist government, enjoys support from all left-of-center parties, who form a majority in parliament, according to the Associated Press.

"If approved by parliament, the proposed law goes to Portugal's conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who can ratify or veto it," the AP reported. "A veto can be overturned by parliament."

Barring a presidential veto, according to the AP, the first same-sex marriages could take place in April, just one month before a scheduled visit from Pope Benedict XVI.

Passage of the law would make Portugal, a staunchly Roman Catholic country, the sixth country in Europe to recognize same-sex marriages after years of effort by advocates. In July the Portuguese constitutional court upheld the nation's marriage ban.

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