A series of proposals from the opposition parties to open the way for the adoption of children by those in same sex marriages were turned down by the Portuguese parliament on Thursday evening.
Whilst the main opposition Socialist Party voted almost entirely in favour of the measures proposed, in conjunction with the Communist Party, Block of the Left and the Greens with their respective relatively fringe representation, they were defeated by the coalition government members of the Popular Party and especially the main Social Democrat Party and despite the latter allowing its MPs a free vote on ths issue.
The first of four proposals on gay adoption related issues proposed by the Block of the Left and also providing medically assisted procreation measures saw 120 votes against, with 90 in favour and ten abstentions.
That meant of the main governing party, the Social Democrats, six abstained and six voted in favour and hence falling significantly short of the kind of support that would be needed to vote the proposal through.
There was a similar outcome in all four votes with the margin of difference shifting only by a couple of votes either way.
For example, the Socialist Party’s own motion to eliminate discrimination in the adoption field saw 119 votes against, ten abstentions and 91 votes for.
Meanwhile, the gay rights non-governmental organisations ILGA took the glass half full approach and deemed the very voting on such issues was “an announced victory” with the “situation soon to be resolved.”
ILGA spokesperson, Paulo Côrte-Real explained that parliament voting on the issue made it clear that “at this time, there are no excuses and it is clear this discrimination will have to come to an end as it is a disgrace” and “existing since 2001 when the law approving de facto unions got passed.”
The spokesperson said that there had already been substantial changes with the Socialist Party and Communist Party taking a stance on the issue before adding “we have no doubts that equality is on its way and shall arrive and stay.”
The Portugal News, TPN/ LUSA