Despite outgoing president Cavaco Silva’s veto last month, same-sex adoptions in Portugal are now (almost) a certainty.
One hundred and thirty seven MPs out of 230 voted yesterday (Wednesday) to reject Cavaco’s stand and approve the bill authorising child adoptions by homosexual couples, which was one of the incoming Socialist Party pledges in October’s elections.
According to Reuters news agency, whatever his personal feelings, Cavaco will now “have to sign” the bill onto the statute books “before his term ends in March”.
Indeed, “under the Constitution” Cavaco has eight days to perform what will be one of his last duties as President of the Republic before handing over the reins of power to incoming victor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Says Reuters, Cavaco is finishing his second term with “record low popularity ratings as many Portuguese blame him for having done nothing to protect them from harsh austerity” imposed under the terms of the 2011 bailout.
But this was far from the minds of MPs celebrating their coup yesterday.
“The time of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is over,” Socialist MP Pedro Delgado Alves told reporters, adding that “adoption by couples of the same sex is not against the best interests of the child” (as Cavaco had inferred that it was when he vetoed the proposal (click here).
Another parliamentary coup came in the form of a rejection of Cavaco’s veto over changes to the law on abortion.
The changes eliminate co-payments by patients and “other obstacles” to voluntary interruption of pregnancy introduced by the previous centre-right government.
Votes supporting Cavaco came from the PSD and CDS-PP, who between them cannot command parliamentary majority.