If Sunday night he had not promulgated it, the legislative measure would have been discussed again by the Assembleia Nacional (the Portuguese Parliament), causing an exhausting “ping-pong” process between institutions.
So, right at the deadline day (20 days after the approval of the Constitutional Court), the President of the extra-catholic Portuguese Republic, the conservative Anibal Cavaco Silva, promulgated a law that allows gay marriage.
He justified his choice by saying that the country needs to maintain the social cohesion during this period, which is seeing Portugal involved in recession.
The only criticism Cavaco had (he is usually called “o Cavaco” by the people and the press) was that the political parties did not have the capacity to find a transversal compromise.
The legislative measure was approved in the last February by an unusual alliance between the Partido Socialista (PS), the Bloco de Esquerda (BE), the Partido Comunista Português (PCP) and the Partido Ecologista “Os Verdes” (PEV). The Centro Democrático Social - Partido Popular (CDS - PP) and the Partido Social Democrata (PSD) were unfavorable to the law.
The Joseph Ratzinger’s opinions about gay marriage (which he reaffirmed in the last week during his four-day visit in Portugal) remained unheard.
I don’t like comment on political news or report them, but considering that Italy is becoming more and more isolated in terms of civil rights, I was surprised when yesterday I noticed that the on-line editions of La Repubblica and of the Corriere della Sera (the two most important Italian newspapers) totally ignored this news.
Cavaco as appears in the photomontage of the yesterday edition of the newspaper Metro. He wears a rainbow-gay colored jacket while he is announcing to the country the promulgation of the law.