Main | Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brazil Approves Gay Marriage?

A Brazilian appeals court has ruled in favor of a lesbian couple who claimed that the national constitution ensures their right to marry. But it's not clear if the ruling applies to anybody but this one couple.
In a 4 - 1 vote, the highest federal court ruled that the Constitution "makes it possible for stable civil unions to become marriages". Indeed "sexual orientation should not serve as a pretext for excluding families from the legal protection that marriage represents", the court said in a statement. Brazilian federal law has not specifically legalised same-sex marriage. And while state courts are not required to follow the same line as the highest court, the Supreme Court ruling should play some role in discouraging Brazil's states from blocking same-sex marriage, legal experts say.
Several other court rulings have granted marriage rights to other couples, but the issue of precedence continues to be murky. Maybe one of our Brazilian readers can explain the situation?

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