a post from another message board from someone that grew up in Portugal:
Socrates, the PM, put gay marriage as one of his top 5 priorities for his second term in a speech. It was pretty nicely worded and showed a lot of guts: he said (paraphrasing) that gay marriage would not just be a victory for gay people, but also a victory for the entire Portuguese society because it would create a society with more tolerance and equality.
I think this law has a good chance of passing because there's at least a couple more medium size left-wing parties that are are almost certainly going to vote with the Socialist Party in Parliament on this, making the "yes" vote over 50%.
There is also a very interesting background story to all this: back when Socrates was campaigning for his first term in 2003-4 the biggest opposition party decided that their only chance was to start a slur campaign. So, they started spreading the story that he was gay.
Although there were 0 proof presented the rumors spread everywhere, including the press, and everyone knew about it. Socrates reacted very coolly and said simply each time he was asked about it that he would not discuss such allegations simply because those kinds of subjects had nothing with the real issues that the country faced and what the political process of a democracy was about.
This led to basically almost everyone believing he was dodging the question and was really gay. And despite that he received over 50% of vote, something that happens about every 25-40 years in a parliamentary democracy.
In the end, it turns out the rumors were totally false and he is straight. Nobody believes he is gay anymore. But he took a very classy approach I think. He could have simply said he wasn't gay and cracked a few macho jokes. By saying those personal questions had nothing to do with serious politics he took a big risk, because everyone assumed he was gay -- but he got elected anyway.