A BRITISH couple who have been together for nearly 18 years officially became partners on Monday in one of the first civil ceremonies to be held at the British Embassy in Lisbon.
Beverley Coutanche, originally from Jersey, and Angela Keenan from Manchester, met in 1989 and moved to Portugal in 1993.
Speaking to The Resident before the couple left for Lisbon, Beverley said her parents were unable to attend but it was hoped Angela’s father, a friend from the UK and an English couple, who were friends from the Algarve, would be there to help celebrate the union.
“We decided to keep it low key, but nonetheless it will be a special day”, Beverley said.
They praised staff at the embassy in Lisbon, who generously allowed them to take photos in the VIP room, where the ceremony took place.
Following the ceremony, the couple had arranged to go to the Docas de Santo Amaro for champagne and cocktails before an evening meal.
Same sex marriages are, for the most part, rejected by the Portuguese. On average, 44 per cent of Europeans are in agreement with gay marriages only 29 per cent of Portuguese people are in favour. Some people believe that the Portuguese Constitution and Civil Code are contradictory. According to the Constitution, it is prohibited to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation but the Civil Code states that legal marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Gay marriages in Portugal are unlikely to become legal in the near future and this has been met with criticism from Portuguese gay rights organisation, Opus Gay.
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