Lesbian Couple are First Same-Sex Couple to Marry in Portugal
The first same-sex marriage was performed in Portugal yesterday after the country legalized gay marriage in May. Language altering the country's constitution to allow for same-sex marriage went into effect yesterday, reported On Top Magazine. The couple, Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao, have been together since 2003 and played a strong role in campaigning for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the predominantly Catholic country. Pires and Paixao were married during a 15-minute-service in Lisbon, Portugal. They are both divorced Portugese mothers in their 30's.
The bill that legalized same-sex marriage was passed by Portugal's Parliament in January and reluctantly ratified by President Anibal Cavaco Silva in May, as he felt that a veto would have been overturned by liberal lawmakers in the country's Parliament, reported the Associated Press. The conservative party previously sought a national referendum after collecting 90,000 signatures opposing the bill, but the referendum petition was rejected, reported the BBC. Under the new law, same-sex couples are still not allowed to legally adopt children.
The bill makes Portugal the sixth country in Europe to allow same-sex marriage, after Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway. Many other nations allow same-sex civil unions.
According to the Associated Press, Portugal's socialist government passed the law as part of its effort to modernize Portugal, where homosexuality had been illegal until 1982. The law has faced intense church opposition, although the New York Times reported that "Portuguese society appears to be largely supportive."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 2/12/10; BBC News 1/8/10; Associated Press 6/7/10; New York Times 5/13/10; BBC News 6/7/10; MSNBC 1/8/10; On Top Magazine 5/31/10
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .