Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for November, 2009

Will Portugal be nation number eight?

Timothy Kincaid

November 30th, 2009

The Pink Paper is reporting that Portugal may soon take step to enact marriage equality.

Sources close to Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates, who is forming a new government following September elections, said that legalising same-sex marriage will be one of the new team’s first actions.

The BBC’s Humphrey Hawksley also seems to believe that same-sex marriage is inevitable within a matter of months. The vote count from Sócrates’ Socialist Party when combined with those from the Left Bloc and the Communist Party predict its passage with votes to spare.

Portugal Supremes Say No to Marriage

Timothy Kincaid

July 31st, 2009

The A/P is reporting:

Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao, divorced mothers in their 30s who have been together as a couple since 2003, were turned away by a Lisbon registry office when they attempted to marry in 2006 because the law stipulates that marriage is between people of different genders.

Portugal’s constitution, however, also forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. The women took the case to a Lisbon court, which rejected their unprecedented challenge.

After considering their appeal against that decision, the Constitutional Court said in a statement posted on its Web site that the constitution does not state that same-sex marriages must be permitted.

By a 3 to 2 vote, they denied the constitutional right to marriage. However they did not mandate that marriage could not be granted by the legislature. And that is a distinct possibility in the near future.

However, the center-left Socialist Party has included a proposal to permit same-sex marriages in its manifesto for September’s general election. Its chief rival, the center-right Social Democratic Party, opposes the measure. Opinion polls show the two parties are neck-and-neck in voting intentions.

You’d better hurry Portugal or you may be behind Albania.

Portugal Says No To Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

October 10th, 2008

Portugal’s Parliament voted by a large majority today to defeat a proposal to allow same-sex marriage in that country. The governing Socialist Party and the main opposition Social Democratic party joined to defeat the measure. The center-left Socialist Party released a statement calling for a debate on the issue:

A change of this depth and complexity should be made only after a considered discussion and after broad support has built up for it in Portuguese society, inside and outside political parties, so that a clear and unequivocal political undertaking can be given,” the Socialist Party said in a statement.

A recent poll in the mostly Roman Catholic country showed that 53% opposed same-sex marriage, and 42% supported it. The margin of error was 2.7%.

Marriage Rights Around the World

Timothy Kincaid

May 15th, 2008

The following countries offer some form of recognition to same-sex couples:


Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, United States (Massachusetts, California)

Civil Unions

New Zealand, Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Argentina (Buenos Aires, Rio Negro), Mexico (Coahuila), Uruguay, United States (Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey)

Registered Partnership or Domestic Partnership

Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, , Slovenia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy (City of Padua), Switzerland, Hungary, Australia (Tasmania), United States (Maine, Washington, Oregon)

Other Methods of Limited Recognition

France (PACS), Germany (Life Partnership), Croatia (Law of Same-Sex Relationships), Andorra (Stable Union of a Couple), Mexico (Mexico City – PACS), Colombia (Common-law marriage inheritance rights), Israel (Limited recognition of foreign legal arrangements), United States (Hawaii – Reciprocal Benefits; New York – recognition of out-of-state legal marriages)

Although recognition is in a rapid state of change, this is my best understanding of the current rights provided. Several nations are in the process of adding or revising recognition.

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