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Portugal same-sex marriage bid prompts court challenge

[JURIST] In the first attempt of its kind in Portugal [government website, English version], two women on Wednesday tried to register their same-sex marriage and are waiting to receive a formal response, expected Thursday. A lawyer representing the women said that they do not expect approval of their registration and have already filed an appeal with the courts based on the Portuguese constitution [PDF text], which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. The couple will argue that two women have the same right to marry as a man and a woman. Portugal's civil code currently bans same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. Also Wednesday, left-wing opposition members presented a motion in Parliament [official website in Portuguese] to allow same-sex marriage, but the ruling Socialist party has yet to announce its position in the matter. Spain, Portugal's European neighbor, legalized same-sex marriage [JURIST report] last year, but some members of Portugal's parliament do not feel that the predominantly Roman Catholic country is ready for such a move. Reuters has more. From Lisbon, Publico has local coverage [in Portuguese].

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