Conservative Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva vetoed on Monday a bill giving adoption rights to gay couples in one of his last political moves before newly-elected Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa takes the office. The law allowing gay couples to adopt passed through parliament on December 18, and was one of socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s campaign promises.
“It is important that such a big change on a sensitive social topic is not entered into force without a broad public debate,” Cavaco Silva said in a statement. The 76-year-old, who served two terms as president, will be replaced on March 9 by centre-right TV pundit Rebelo de Sousa, who was elected on Sunday in the first round of presidential polls.
Adoption is open to all individuals in Portugal, but the law allowing gay marriage which was passed in February 2010 explicitly excludes the right to adopt.
The ruling Socialist Party has already announced their intent to override the veto.