Article Title:Portugese Step Up
Category:Comment
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:15th February 2016 - 03:20 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:17905
Text:Portugal achieved marriage equality before New Zealand, but unlike New Zealand, France and Spain, inclusive adoption reform wasn't part of the marriage equality 'package.' How did this come about and what are current developments likely to achieve? Portugal tends to be overshadowed by its larger eastern neighbour, Spain, but like Spain, it has a relatively progressive recent LGBT history. Initially, male homosexuality was decriminalised as long ago as 1852, but under Louis I, it was then recriminalised in 1986. It wasn't decriminalised again until after the fall of the Salazar dictatorship in 1981 and age of consent equality (fourteen for straight, lesbian and gay relationships alike) was not delivered until 2007. In 2003, Portugal passed anti-discrimination laws that covered sexual orientation in employment amd against same-sex sexual harassment. In 2004, this was included within the equality rights section of Portugal's constitution. In 2013, gender identity was added to hate crime provisions within the nation's penal code. In 2015, gender identity was added to Portugal's anti-discrimination legislation. In 2001, the nation recognised equality for unmarried cohabiting straight, lesbian or gay relationships, while in 2010, it legislated for marriage equality- but as noted, formerly without inclusive adoption reform in this context. It isn't only inclusive adoption that is closed to Portugese LGBT citizens, as, unlike New Zealand, lesbians are unable to access in vitro fertilisation to begin their own families, and all forms of surrogacy are also illegal. There have several attempts to end Portugal's discriminatory impasse insofar as same-sex parenting is concerned- in May 2013, Portugal's Parliament rejected (104-77) legislation to enable inclusive adoption reform, as well as a second bill that would have allowed co-parent LGBT adoption (107-112) on the same day. In January 2015, the then-Left Opposition tried to introduce a same-sex parenting omnibus bill that not only introduced inclusive adoption procedures, but also opened IVF to lesbian couples. While that was defeated, momentum increased when the left won last year's parliamentary elections. Thus, in September 2015, the left once again introduced its omnibus same-sex parenting bill, but this time, with a parliamentary majority that enabled its progress through to the Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees select committee, and were consequently passed on 18 December 2015. However, outgoing conservative Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva then vetoed the bill on 25 January 2016. The Portuguese Parliament then used its majority to override Silva's veto, nullifying its obstructive erstwhile effect, on February 11, 2016, by a coalition which consisted of the ruling Socialists, Communists, Left Bloc and some Opposition Social Democratic Party MPs, but opposed by the rightist christian-democrat CDS (137-93), which lost. This means that as his veto has been successfully overridden, Silva will have to consent to sign it into law before he leaves office in March 2016. At the same time, there was a victory for Portugal's pro-choice movement, as incremental anti-abortion obstacles to women's reproductive choice were also overridden in a separate vote. Recommended: Wikipedia/ LGBT rights in Portugal:http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_ Portugal Andrei Khalip: "Portugal parliament overturns veto on adoption by gay couples"Yahoo News:11.02.2016:https://uk.news. yahoo.com/port ugal-parliament-overturns- veto-adoption-gay-couples- 170035243--business.html Craig Young - 15th February 2016    
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