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    Portugal's Parliament Overrides Presidential Veto Of Gay Adoption

    Legislation to allow gay couples to adopt passed Parliament the second time with more votes than it garnered the first time. 

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    In Portugal, marriage by same-sex couples has been legal since 2010, but adoption rights have been harder to come by. Though gays can marry, the law the explicitly bars gay couples from jointly adopting, or for the non-legal parent to adopt a child belonging to their partner. 

    Members of Portugal's Parliament tried to change that inequity last November, passing a law that allowed gay couples to adopt jointly, or to adopt their partner's children. That victory was short-lived. Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal's conservative president, (photo above) vetoed the bill, scolding lawmakers that they should consider "the child’s best interest," rather than equality between heterosexual and same-sex couples."

    "It is important," said President Silva, that such a big change on a sensitive social topic is not entered into force without a broad public debate."

    So yesterday, lawmakers took up the president's challenge to considered the "child's best interest" and tried a second time to legalize gay adoption.

    The bill needed 116 votes from the 230 seat Parliament to override President Silva's veto. The measure passed with 137 yeas. The Network of European LGBT Families Association noted that was more yes votes than the legislation received the first time around.

    "It gives NELFA particular joy to note that on the second round the votes for equality were higher than on the first one,’ they wrote on Facebook. "No reason for doubting where the majority of the Portuguese parliament stands on this."

    President Silva now has eight days to sign the bill, or it becomes law without him. 

     

    Photo is from President Silva's Facebook album

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