Portugal Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage


Today Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva said that he would ratify a law making Portugal the sixth European country to legalize same-sex marriage. They join other nice places like Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain.

Cavaco Silva said he wouldn’t veto the bill despite his “personal convictions” because there were other more important things he needed to deal with, like the country’s economic crisis, unemployment, and poverty. Why is it so hard to imagine a U.S. politician saying that?

“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.

Still, even if it’s a bit of a halfhearted gain, it’s a gain nonetheless, especially following Pope Benedict XVI’s recent visit to the predominantly Catholic country, during which he called same-sex marriage and abortion “some of today’s most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.” (Abortion was legalized in 2007 in Portugal.)

New York City, meanwhile, seems a bit slow to the uptake.