Saturday, January 23, 2010

Portugues Bishops' Spokesman says, "Same-sex marriage far from becoming law"

Portuguese bishops' spokesman: Same-sex marriage far from becoming law

TORONTO (CNS) -- Portuguese legislation that would allow gay couples to marry is still far from becoming the law of the land, said a spokesman for the Portuguese bishops' conference. The legislation "still has to be signed by the president, and also there is a question about it being unconstitutional," the spokesman, Father Manuel Morujao, told CNS in a telephone interview in mid-January. Whether Portugal's constitution allows a change in the definition of marriage is the current debate that President Anibal Cavaco Silva has been avoiding, said Father Morujao. Silva was quoted in the Portuguese press saying that he was unable to "say even one word" about the issue, pointing out that constitutional law is not the president's competency. Father Morujao said the nation's bishops had urged a referendum on gay marriage, and he said the issue has the potential to fracture Portuguese society. Canada, South Africa, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden already have same-sex marriage.

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