President Anibal Cavaco Silva
LISBON, Portugal — Portugal's conservative president announced Monday he is ratifying a law allowing gay marriage in the predominantly Catholic country.
The head of state's decision to permit the enactment of a bill passed by Parliament in January makes Portugal the sixth European country allowing same-sex couples to wed.
President Anibal Cavaco Silva said in a nationally televised address he regretted that the country's political parties had failed to reach a compromise during days of heated debate in Parliament four months ago.
Vetoing the bill would only send it back to Parliament where lawmakers would overturn his decision, he said, adding that the country needed to focus on overcoming an economic crisis that has increased unemployment and deepened poverty. HERE
PAPAL PORTUGAL VISIT LAST WEEK: Pope Benedict XVI--Gay Marriage Is 'Insidious And Dangerous'
¨Benedict himself admitted to the "sins within the church" on the first day of the trip, his most explicit admission of Church culpability in the scandal. By Thursday, however, he had moved on to stressing core church teachings in the largely Roman Catholic country, where abortion on demand has been available since 2007 and where Parliament in January passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage. In addition, a judge in 2008 made it easier to obtain divorce even when one spouse objects.¨ HERE
Pride Flag History:
The Rainbow (or Gay Pride) Flag was created by artist and vexillographer Gilbert Baker, a friend of the late Harvey Milk, in 1978. The flag debuted at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. It has since been used around the world as a symbol of LGBT unity in many variations, including adaptations such as bumper stickers and decals. The Rainbow Flag is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers. The Rainbow (Pride) Flag lives in the public domain. HERE
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