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LGBT+ Portugal: Equality, Freedom, Social acceptance

As a gay couple, once that we discussed options about where to live next, we considered our place within the social environment we will inhabit

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

If you’re in a same-sex relationship and are looking for somewhere new to relocate to, Portugal could be the place for you.

There are many important questions to ask before you go, such as what are the local attitudes towards the Portugal LGBT community, what are your legal rights, and where is the best place to live?

In the following article, we’ll cover all the main topics concerning LGBT Portugal life.

LGBT history in Portugal

Since the “Carnation Revolution” in 1974 (a bloodless revolution that ended the military dictatorship) Portuguese society has become increasingly more progressive and open-minded and is today considered to be among the top countries in the world when it comes to the protection of LGBT rights.

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.

This was also the same year that same-sex unions were officially recognized by the state, with gay marriage later being legalized in 2010. The age of consent for same-sex relationships was equalized in 2007, and the law changed to allow adoption for gay couples in Portugal in 2016.

Gay rights in Portugal

If you are looking to relocate to Portugal, it is important to know what rights you are guaranteed under law.

Gay marriage in Portugal

Unions for gay couples were first recognized by the Portuguese state in 1999, with marriage being legalized for same-sex couples in Portugal in 2010.

Portuguese law guarantees gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples in all respects. This means that laws on marriage in regards to visas, inheritance, and other matters are all considered equally for same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage visas in Portugal

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 2-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.

Gay marriage to a Portuguese citizen

If you marry a Portuguese citizen, you will not automatically be entitled to Portuguese citizenship. You must first apply for residency, and after 3 years of marriage, you can apply for citizenship.

Rights for gay families in Portugal

Since the legalization of same-sex adoption in Portugal in 2016, gay families now enjoy the same rights as heterosexual families.

Children of gay couples are recognized as dependents just the same as children from heterosexual couples. This means they can apply for family reunification visas in the same way, and are also included as dependents under the Portugal Golden Visa program, and can obtain a residence permit provided they are either under 18 or in full-time education.

Inheritance for gay families in Portugal

There is no inheritance tax for spouses or close relatives in Portugal, and the same applies to same-sex couples and their children.

Adoption for gay couples in Portugal

Adoption for gay couples was legalized in Portugal in 2016. Although the procedure is now technically the same for same-sex couples as it is for heterosexual couples, there have yet to be any officially recognized cases of adoption by gay couples in Portugal. This is largely due to the process being overly bureaucratic, as adoption in Portugal is usually a process that takes around 3 years to be completed.

It is also legal for same-sex partners to adopt the children of their spouses.

IVF for same-sex couples in Portugal

Same-sex couples were guaranteed equal access to IVF in the same legislation that legalized adoption for gay couples. This means that women in same-sex relationships have the same rights to IVF as heterosexual women.

Surrogacy is illegal in Portugal except under specific circumstances.

The LGBT community in Portugal

Is Portugal LGBT friendly?

In 2019 Portugal was named the top worldwide destination for gay travelers, along with Canada and Sweden.

Portugal jumped from 27th to the top spot in the Spartacus gay travel guide, largely due to changes in legal protections for trans and intersex people, as well as for the introduction of anti-hate crime initiatives.

The Portuguese government has been particularly active in recent years in protecting the rights of LGBT residents, and although there is still some discrimination and homophobia in certain sectors of Portuguese society (particularly in more rural areas) big strides have been made towards making the country more hospitable for the gay community.

Is incredibly reassuring how one country considered by many being part of “old Europe” is in reality so advanced in the protection of human rights, how its government realized so early that gay and trans rights ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!

This following video is a testimony of everyday life, not numbers or statistics, just an honest demonstration of life in Portugal, and the acceptance of its people…

Thanks to Pedro and Lorenzo

This is a great article about 2010s recognition of equality in marriage rights for same sex couples:

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