Year legalized: 2010
How it happened: When Portugal's Socialist government passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage, the country's conservative President Aníbal Cavaco Silva was less than thrilled. "I feel I should not contribute to a pointless extension of this debate," he explained in reluctantly ratifying the measure. But Pope Benedict XVI was even harsher when he visited Portugal only days before Cavaco Silva signed the bill into law -- calling for the protection of "the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman."
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