Europe

Portugal lesbian couple in nation's first gay marriage

  • 7 June 2010
  • From the section Europe
Teresa Pires (left) and her partner Helena Paixao at the registry office in Lisbon on 7/6/2010
The couple had campaigned for years for a change in the law

The first same-sex marriage has taken place in Portugal, a month after a law allowing gay marriage came into effect.

Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao, both divorced mothers in their 30s who have been together since 2003, married at a Lisbon registry office.

The couple - who had campaigned for a change to the law - described it as a "great victory, a dream come true".

The Socialist government had faced fierce opposition to the law in what is a mainly Catholic country.

But a petition against the change failed to gain enough support for a referendum.

The bill was passed by parliament in January and ratified by President Anibal Cavaco Silva in May - making Portugal the sixth European country to recognise same-sex marriages.

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