Annual Review 2013
Portugal remained the only country in Europe where same-sex partners may legally marry, but cannot enjoy any parenting rights whatsoever. The two bills aimed at extending same-sex parents’ entitlement to adoption rights and lesbians’ and single women’s access to medically assisted reproduction failed to achieve a parliamentary majority. Meanwhile, as a result of the National Plan for Equality: Gender, Citizenship and Non-discrimination, a number of projects on sexual orientation and gender identity mainstreaming received governmental funding and were able to be implemented successfully.
Bias motivated speech
- The Regulatory Authority for the Media urged the daily newspaper Diário de Notícias to adopt a validation system, which can effectively control online comments, thus preventing the publication of insulting and offensive language that promotes xenophobic and homophobic hatred and violence. Despite this, the editorial management of the newspaper decided not to apply the Regulatory Authority’s recommendation as it considered that such a validation system imposes prior censorship on the reader. Instead, the newspaper created an automatic system of comment deletion, which is exclusively activated by the reader.
Bias motivated violence
- ILGA-Europe collected information on seven hate crimes perpetrated during the year. This includes cases of extremely violent assaults. This information was collected as part of documentation activities in preparation of the OSCE/ODIHR’s annual hate crime report, to be published in November 2013.
- In May, on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), the Secretary of State for Equality convened a session on homophobic bullying at a Lisbon school.
- In September, the Portuguese Parliament adopted a law on the students’ status and school ethics which in Article 7 prohibits any discrimination against students on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Equality and non-discrimination
- As a result of the National Plan for Equality: Gender, Citizenship and Non-discrimination, ILGA Portugal continued to conduct two projects that are funded under Axis 7 of the Human Potential Operational Programme of the National Strategic Reference Framework (POPH/QREN). Under the Centro LGBT and Porto Arco-Íris projects, ILGA Portugal conducted awareness-raising sessions for professionals in key fields (e.g. justice and health) on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and distributed several LGBT-themed publications to Lisbon and Oporto’s library network to promote the diversification of available materials on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- In January and February, there were two votes in the Portuguese Parliament regarding parenting by same-sex couples. The first vote rejected the extension of access to medically assisted reproduction to single women and lesbian couples. The second vote rejected the extension of the possibility of applying for adoption to same-sex couples that are either married or in de facto unions. In both cases, same-sex parenting was supported by the Left Block and the Greens and by a vast majority of the Socialists, even though the Socialist Party did not adopt a position in favour. In both cases, the Communist Party voted against the legislation, as did almost all of the MPs from the right-wing parties that hold a majority in Parliament.
Freedom of assembly
- In September, the first Pride March took place in the Azores.
- In December, the government set up a working group regarding the existing ban on blood donations from LGBT people. Its aim is to lay out procedures on risky behaviour, blood safety and donor management. The creation of this working group followed Parliament Resolution no 39/2010’s recommendation calling on government to adopt measures to fight discrimination against homosexual and bisexual persons in blood collection services.
Legal gender recognition
- In March, one year after the entry into force of Lei no 7/2011 which regulates legal gender recognition, 78 cases of legal change of gender had been recorded.
- According to Eurobarometer 2012, 55% of the Portuguese believe sexual orientation discrimination is widespread. This is slightly above the EU27 average (46%). 50% believe gender identity discrimination is widespread. This is slightly above the EU27 average (45%). The Portuguese scored 5.7 on a scale from 1 (‘totally uncomfortable’) to 10 (‘totally comfortable’) when asked how comfortable they would feel with an LGB individual in the highest elected political position in their country. This is slightly below the EU27 average (6.6). The Portuguese scored 5.5 on a similar scale when asked about a transgender/transsexual person in the highest elected political position in their country. This is slightly below the EU27 average (5.7).