In this too, Europe is seriously leaving us behind:
Portugal's parliament passed a bill today that would make the predominantly Catholic country the sixth in Europe to permit gay marriage. The conservative president, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, is thought unlikely to veto the socialist government's bill, which won the support of all left-of-centre parties. . His ratification would allow the first gay marriage ceremonies to take place in April, a month before Pope Benedict XVI is due on an official visit to Portugal. .
Gay rights campaigners applauded from the galleries, hugged and kissed outside the building and ate wedding cake. Gay marriage is currently permitted in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway. Canada, South Africa and six US states also permit it.
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