LISBON (Reuters) - The Portuguese parliament on Friday passed the Socialist government's bill to legalise same-sex marriages, which Prime Minister Jose Socrates said was an historic step in the country's fight against discrimination.
Socrates' minority government pushed the bill through the house with support from left wing parties, while alternative proposals by the centre-right opposition for civil partnerships and a referendum on the issue were rejected.
"It is a small change in the law, but a very important and symbolic step to fully realise values that are pillars of open, tolerant and democratic societies; freedom, equality and non-discrimination," Socrates told parliament ahead of the vote.
The bill gives gay marriages the same rights as heterosexual marriages, including those on taxes, inheritance and housing, but does not offer them the right to adopt children. Read complete article - By Shrikesh Laxmidas – Reuters