The motion to hold a referendum was approved with a slight government majority on last Monday, January 17. It has not yet been announced when such a referendum will take place, however.
At the moment, Portugal’s LGBT community enjoys the same rights to marriage, taxation, inheritance and housing as their heterosexual counterparts, including the right to legally adopt their partner’s children.
Several Portuguese LGBT associations are expected to submit appeals to the Constitutional Court, in protest at last Monday’s motion. According to Portuguese American Journal, they have also announced that they will take their protest to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that it infringes on their individual rights.
As PAJ reports:
The Parliament’s decision to issue a referendum to reverse the current adoption laws was sent to the Constitutional Court and will be assessed by Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva.
In 2010, the Portuguese Parliament had approved equal rights for same-sex marriages, excluding adoption rights. In 2013, Parliament approved a law allowing gay couples to adopt their partners’ biological or adopted children with votes from the center-left opposition parties.
Portugal was among the first ten counties in the world to introduce marriage equality, although homosexuality had been illegal in the country until 1982.