The timing said it all.
A smiling Pope Benedict XVI had just wrapped up an official visit to Portugal in May 2010, during which he praised Catholic organizations striving to protect families based on “the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman.”
But barely 72 hours after the pontiff flew home, the president of Portugal declared that he would sign a bill allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed. With Spain having granted such rights five years earlier, the move turned the entire Iberian Peninsula, historically a Catholic stronghold, into an unlikely hitching post for homosexuals.
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