Is Gay Marriage Legal in Portugal? [Updated: 2023]

Published Categorized as Portugal
Is Gay Marriage legal in Portugal

This post was most recently updated on January 6th, 2023

Gay marriage has been legal in Portugal since 5th June 2010. Portugal became the eighth in the world to recognize same-sex marriage on that day. Same-sex married couples are granted all of the rights of different-sex married couples in Portugal.

Along with gay marriage, LGBT marriage is also legal in Portugal. For those who don’t know what LGBT is, it stands for Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. However, non-binary gender recognition has not been legally recognized in Portugal. Even though gender self-identification is possible in Portugal, non-binary identities are not yet legally recognized here.

Portugal has wide-ranging anti-discrimination laws and is one of the few countries in the world to contain a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in its Constitution. Portuguese society has become increasingly accepting of homosexuality since its legalization.

Portugal is frequently referred to as one of the world’s most LGBT-friendly countries, with various groups and associations catering to LGBT people, supportive legislation, and high societal acceptance.

In March 2019, the country was named the world’s best LGBT-friendly travel destination, along with Canada and Sweden. One year after the law came into force, approximately 380 same-sex marriages had taken place in Portugal. Foreign nationals can marry in Portugal even if marriage between same-sex couples is not recognized in their country of origin.

Portugal is frequently referred to as one of the world's most LGBT-friendly countries

However, some people are still anti-gay marriage. They think homosexuality goes against their religion or culture. Few months before the legalization of gay marriage 5,000 people had demonstrated against the legalization of same-sex marriage in a march in Lisbon.

Same-sex sexual activity was first decriminalized in 1852, under Mary II and Ferdinand II of the Kingdom of Portugal, but it was made a crime again in 1886, under Louis I, and Portugal gradually became more oppressive of homosexuals until and throughout the dictatorship years.

The foundation of the Portuguese LGBT movement came just one month after the revolution, in May 1974, when a manifesto for the “liberation of sexual minorities” was published in the Diario de Lisboa. It wasn’t until 8 years later that homosexuality in Portugal was decriminalized, and only in 1999 that the first gay pride march took place in Lisbon.

A gay couple wasn’t allowed to adopt a child until 2016 even though gay marriage was legalized in 2010.  Prior to that reform, same-sex couples were barred from adopting and informally forbidden from fostering children, although there had been several court rulings allowing children to live with same-sex families.

Gay couples can adopt a child in Portugal similar to non-gay couple

Portugal allows all citizens to serve openly in the Armed Forces regardless of sexual orientation, as the Constitution explicitly forbids any discrimination on that basis. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are therefore able to serve in the military on the same basis as heterosexual men and women.

Marriage visas for gay couples in Portugal are the same as for heterosexual couples. If your spouse in Portugal has permanent residence, you can apply for a two-year residence permit, which can then be renewed if your relationship status is the same after that time period.

If your partner has a temporary residence permit in Portugal, you can still join them on the grounds of family reunification, though you will be required to prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself.

If you apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal and have a same-sex partner, then your partner will also receive a residence permit, provided their documentation is submitted at the same time as your own.

If you get married to a Portuguese citizen, then you’ll be entitled to citizenship. You need to first apply for residency. Then after three years of marriage, you may apply for citizenship.

Portugal does not have an inheritance tax for spouses or close relatives, whether for heterosexual or same-sex spouses and their children.

Law n. 5/2007, of 16th January, Law on Physical Activity and Sports, states in its article 2 nº 1 that everyone, regardless its sexual orientation, has the right to physical activity and sports in Portugal.

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