GAY MARRIAGE and adoption of children by same-sex couples will not be proposed by the Socialist Party to become law in Portugal until 2009. Portuguese gay rights defence organisation, Opus Gay, has stated that it understands the reasons for the decision, but that it considers a three-year wait to be too long.
The proposal that the Socialist Party Secretary General and Prime Minister, José Sócrates, will take to Congress on behalf of his party, postpones the eventual approval of the legislation concerning these issues until 2009.
Heard on Portuguese radio station TSF, António Serzedelo of Opus Gay said he understood that it would take time to prepare the Portuguese people for this debate. However, he added: “We (the gay community in Portugal) are sad that it will only take place in 2009 because, in our opinion, this is a significant time delay.”
For the gay rights activist, it is necessary to discover the opinion of the Portuguese public and homosexual couples before taking decisions. “In truth, it is necessary to begin building a house, not with the roof, but at the foundations. I understand that gay marriage and same-sex adoption is a process that has to be worked upon together with the people of this country, with the local authorities, closely with the heterosexuals and gay people. I am not going to die from not getting married, but I will die in Portugal due to homophobia,” he stated.