Portugal’s president ratifies gay marriage law

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s conservative president says he has decided to ratify a law allowing gay marriage in the predominantly Catholic country.

The head of state’s decision to permit the enactment of a bill passed by Parliament in January makes Portugal the sixth European country allowing same-sex couples to wed.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva announced his decision Monday.

The Socialist government’s bill was backed by all of Portugal’s left-of-center parties, who together have a majority in Parliament. Right-of-center parties opposed the measure and demanded a national referendum.

Portugal’s Constitutional Court validated the bill’s legality last month.