Portuguese parliament rejects gay marriage

Gay MarriageLisbon - The Portuguese parliament Friday rejected a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage with an overwhelming majority, with the governing Socialists arguing that the time was not ripe.

The draft legislation had been tabled by the Greens and the Left Bloc.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates' Socialists and the opposition conservative parties voted against.

The Socialists were against discrimination, but the question of gay marriage should not be allowed to split Portuguese society, Socialist legislator Jorge Strech said.

Thousands of gay couples have married in neighbouring Spain, which gave homosexuals full marriage rights, including the right to adopt children, more than three years ago. (dpa)