OMG Portugal on BBC World Service! Just when I’ve been saying it’s like the New Zealand of Europe here, all quiet and inoffensive, there she goes all crazy and radical and free loving! The Parliament here voted on Friday to permit gay marriage in Portugal. Thank god they avoided the embarrassment of a public referendum, where the idea surely would’ve sunk like towels at a Sydney sauna. The economy certainly doesn’t need any ‘no’ votes at this point and a bit of garage tourism (gay+marriage = garage. Good eh?) could be just the sport. Them gay peeps with their disposible incomes and their gayness – mixing it up here in wouldn’t-know-the-difference, and golly-we-need-cheering-up Portugal. Yay. Just don’t try kissing in front of the police, advise Teresa & Lena, the lezzos who started it all. What kind of cops don’t like watching girls kiss? What the?
Speaking of puckering up – here’s Zézito. The too-cute-for-his-own-good prime minister, José Socrates (who wouldn’t vote for guy called Socrates?) is the man behind this radically democratic idea of letting people do what they want so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody. The bill still has to be reviewed by a committee, avoid veto by the super conservative party-pooping president and face another round of votes in the parliament. The papers are saying maybe a rainbow-coloured dance party in April. Standby for Dykes on Bikes on the Avenida da Liberdade. Vroom.
Back when my neighbour and I were more neighbourly we shared the following exchange on the subject.
Him: Same sex marriage blah blah. What I’d like to know is: who does it benefit?
Me: Them. Just them. No one else. 10% of the population. Two people in this village. That’s all. Practically noone.
Me: Well, here in this village it’s only 10%, in Sydney it’s more like 50%!
Him: Huh? Who?
Me: Yeah, anyway, I think should they say no. No to all marriage. Seriously, there should be more government control over who can get married. It just shouldn’t be allowed.
Me: Well look at the murder rate! Another one dead yesterday …”violençia domestica”.
Him: Er, yeah, ha, ha. I just think marriage should be just for one purpose.
Me: Yeah, like, for sex.
Him: No, no, we have sex outside marriage in Portugal. I mean for children.
Me: Oh, yeah, if a couple don’t have children they should get divorced. And no one over 45 should be allowed to get married. And those couples with fertility issues… Divorced. The government should make sure that everyone has children. Lots of children.
Him: Erm, no, I mean…I don’t know why we are discussing same sex marriage when there are so many important things they should be arguing about.
Me: I agree! What with the “Threat From Al-Qaeda” they must be more important issues on the agenda. Some people want to marry each other! Do we really need to even hear about it?
Him: Yeah! I don’t even want to hear about it!
Me: That’s right, they should just pass the bill and get onto more important things.
Me: They should just pass the bill and let us all get on with our lives.
Him: Yeah, pass the bill and let us get on with our lives. Right!
Discussing the issue with the Women’s Group Neighbours (plus one silent husband, he doesn’t count apparently) I pointed out that it was not about Gay marriage, but Same Sex marriage, as it is called in the Prtgse media.
WGN: Oh yeah?
Me: You know, for people like me.
Me: You wouldn’t mind if I got married, would you? I need a wife over there. Someone to keep the place clean, do the cooking, warm up the bed…
WGN: Yeah that’s true.
Me: So if this bill gets passed I could just get married to a friend and she could come and stay. It would be great. She’d inherit everything, if I died…
WGN: Well, if you don’t have kids…
Me: Exactly. You wouldn’t want everything going to my terrible cousins…
WGN: No, of course, it’s good that you give it to your friend then.
Me: And she could sleep in my bed, and…
WGN: Woooah there… steady on… giggle giggle…
Me: But I sleep with the cat and you don’t mind. What’s the difference? Why can’t I marry one of the pets? That’s what will be next here you know. Like in America.
WGN: Huh? What?
Me: …and Australia, and England. Everyone marrying their own dog and stuff.
Silent Husband: Yeah I saw that on the TV. Yeah. It’s true, they do that over there…
I try to amuse myself. God help me if they ever learn English… or how to use the internet… I’m a dead man/girl/person!