ABSTRACT

In Portugal, the emergence of feminism and especially the gay and lesbian movement have had important impacts on the well-being of women engaged in homo-erotic relations who ¿nd in them the support to deal with the harmful effects of the stigma. Despite dif¿culties in mobilising its constituencies, gay and lesbian activism has contributed to mitigate the negative impacts of derogatory messages concerning homoeroticism by providing positive identi¿cation models, enhancing a sense of belonging and worthiness, and reducing feelings of personal and social inadequacy. Additionally, it has engendered important legal changes in Work and Penal Laws as well as in the Constitution, namely through the introduction of a clause of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and more recently in Civil Law following the approval of the same-sex marriage law in 2010.