but also does not oppose it, and that the decision must be made by the Assembly of the Republic (the Portuguese Parliament).
Two bills to legalize same-sex marriage were presented to Parliament on 10 October 2008.
Prime Minister José Sócrates stated on 18 January 2009 that, if re-elected in the September 2009 elections, he planned to introduce a bill to allow same-sex couples the right to marry.
While the bill did not contemplate adoption, most LGBT organizations in Portugal supported the measure as an important step.
On 1 February 2006, a lesbian couple applied for a marriage licence.
Their application was refused, but the couple, Teresa Pires and Helena Paixão, promised to challenge the ban in court, saying that it discriminated against them on the basis of sexual orientation, which is banned by the 1976 Constitution.
The proposition received strong support from the Left Bloc, with its parliamentary leader presenting a proposed amendment to the Family Code which would make the definition of marriage gender-neutral.
On 4 November 2009, Francisco Assis, the parliamentary leader of the Socialist Party, said that the same-sex marriage bill would be voted upon soon and confirmed that the bill would not allow same-sex couples to adopt children.
The Constitutional Court received the case in July 2007.
Helena and Teresa's lawyer, Luís Grave Rodrigues, presented their allegations on 19 October 2007, including seven legal opinions (pareceres) from Portuguese professors of law arguing that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
On 8 April 2010, the Portuguese Constitutional Court ruled (11–2) for the constitutionality of the bill, with three members concluding that the Constitution required the recognition of same-sex marriages.