campaign promises

Portugal’s PM José Sócrates Promised to Legalize Gay Marriage If Re-Elected. Well, He Was

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When José Sócrates campaigned for another term as prime minister of the very Catholic-y Portugal, he surprised many by insisting he would push to legalize same-sex marriage. Sócrates, a socialist (ZOMG!!), won that election over the weekend. (Yes, the Portuguese vote on their days off work.) Which begs the question: Will he make good on his promise? The answer: It may not be up to him.

Sócrates won the gig without scoring a parliamentary majority — the equivalent of Obama winning the White House and Democrats in the majority in Congress, but having enough Republicans to keep ’em from getting everything they want. Which means that, despite his Socialist Party winning more seats than any other party, he faces an uphill battle when it comes to things like trimming spending and boosting public works projects. Oh, and bringing about marriage equality.

If re-elected, Sócrates in January told supporters he would introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. And, by default, overturn its ban.

Then again, if Sócrates is anything like America’s president, campaign promises won’t matter. (That Obama is in his first term, and Sócrates in his second, might change things.) Particularly when Sócrates faces the anti-gay Social Democratic Party, which it now has to make nice with in Parliament in order to — you guessed it — stimulate the economy.