Stuart Loory, Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies at the Missouri School of Journalism: Voters in California a year ago approved a ban on same-sex marriage after the state legislature passed a law allowing it. Now two same-sex couples are challenging the ban in federal court. The trial opened this week and in the first few days, the U.S. Supreme Court became involved. It issued a 5-4 ruling saying the plan to allow televised coverage of the proceedings would hurt those opposed to same-sex marriage. So we have a complex and bitter situation. Six states in the United States permit same-sex marriage. Thirty-one have passed laws declaring it illegal. Portugal, one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in the world, has a law about to go into effect approving such marriages. The parliament passed it, and now only the president of the country has to sign it and put it into effect. Though a conservative, President Anibal Cavaco Silva is expected to sign the bill into law just two months before a visit to Portugal by Pope Benedict XVI. So now Portugal joins Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Canada and South Africa as countries approving same-sex marriage. The Portuguese law will give same-sex couples all the rights that heterosexual couples have except for one thing. They will not be permitted to adopt children. Just across the border on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain, also devoutly Catholic, does permit such adoption. Let’s start with the California trial.
GLOBAL JOURNALIST: Examining gay marriage around the world
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