Portugal’s president, who was elected as a conservative, has signed a law passed by the Assembly of the Republic last year creating the institution of homosexual “marriage.”
Although he had the power to veto the bill, and claims to oppose it, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva says that he signed the law to avoid slowing down the legislative process during the global economic crisis.
According to the Constitution, the Assembly can override the veto of the president with a two-thirds majority, and Silva says that the votes are there to do it. According to Silva, a veto would further tie up the Assembly while other urgent matters are neglected.
Although the president could have refused to sign the bill into law even after it was passed a second time, he would cease to have a juridical existence according to the Constitution, and the nation’s Supreme Court could convict him and depose him. The Court has already ruled that the gay “marriage” law is constitutional.
Silva told the media that he does not want to “uselessly extend this debate” nor “divert the attention of the Portuguese from the problems that gravely affect people’s lives.”
He also said that, while he is opposed to gay “marriage,” he has no problem with the idea of giving special legal privileges to homosexual couples, without calling the union “matrimony.” He lamented that a consensus had not been reached to create civil unions in a manner similar to France, Germany, and other EU countries.
Although Silva says he is a Catholic, his statements conflict with the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, which he formulated before becoming pope.
As the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the then Cardinal Ratzinger condemned all legal recognition for homosexual unions and wrote that “one must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application.”
The decision to sign by Silva was announced only days after Pope Benedict had left Portugal following a four day trip, in which the pontiff called abortion and homosexual “marriage” “insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good.”
Silva’s reasoning with regard to Portugal’s homosexual “marriage” bill is similar to the rationale he used to sign Portugal’s legislation to allow abortion on demand in 2007. He defended the act by pointing to the fact that a majority of voters in a recent referendum had supported the legislation, as well as a majority of legislators. In that case, however, he did not cite a two-thirds majority in support of the law in the Assembly of the Republic.
Related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Abortion, Gay ‘Marriage’ among the Most ‘Insidious and Dangerous’ Challenges: Pope
Portuguese Court Approves Constitutionality of Homosexual ‘Marriage’
Portugal’s Parliament Gives Preliminary Approval to “Gay Marriage” while Cardinal Fiddles
Portugal Legalizes Abortion as President Silva Approves Legislation