by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Sources close to Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who is forming a new government following September elections, said Oct. 23 that legalizing same-sex marriage will be one of the new team’s first actions.
“The measure is part of the official program of the party and according to government sources, the move will be done as soon as (formation of) the government is complete,” writes correspondent Joao Paulo from PortugalGay.pt.
Socrates’ Socialist Party captured 97 of Parliament’s 230 seats. With 31 additional votes from members of the Left Bloc and the Communist Party, both of which support gay marriage, Socrates should be able to pass the bill easily.
Portugal has had a “de facto unions” law for opposite- and same-sex couples since 2001 that grants limited rights to couples who have lived together for at least two years.