Lesbian couple 1st to marry in Portugal

Helena Paixao, left, and Teresa Pires
Helena Paixao, left, and Teresa Pires (Associated Press)

Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao finally saw years of effort pay off when theY recently became the first same-sex couple to be legally married in Portugal.

The two women, who both have children from previous hetero marriages, have been together as a couple since 2003. And they have been campaigning for years to get the Portuguese government to legally recognize gay marriages.

The two tried to get a marriage license back in 2006, after they had been living together about three years. When that effort was blocked, they vowed to fight the gay marriage ban in court on the basis that it violated the Portuguese Constitution’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Officials in the country’s Socialist government said at the time that they had no intention of legalizing same-sex marriage.

But the Parliament passed the law legalizing gay marriage in January of this year, and Prtesident Anabel Cavaco Silva ratified it in May, making Portugal the sixth European nation to legalize gay marriage.

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