Brazilian appeals court orders issuance of marriage license for lesbian couple

by on October 26, 2011  •  In Marriage

The law of relationship recognition continues to expand for same-sex couples in Brazil. In May, Brazil's Supreme Court ruled that a gay couple could be recognized as a "stable union" under Brazilian law. Stable union is roughly equivalent to common-law marriage; it has frequently been labeled in the English language press (as below) with the American terminology of "civil union."

In June, a state-level trial court ruled that gay couples who were in a recognized stable union could convert that status to marriage, as different-sex couples in a stable union can do. Since then, the rulings on the right to change the status have been inconsistent; the appellants in the case decided today had been denied that right by the trial court that heard their case.

The new decision is the first at an appellate level to uphold the right of same-sex couples in a stable union to convert that to marriage. If this case is appealed and the decision affirmed, the right to marry will be established throughout the country.

From Pink News:

Gay activists in Brazil are celebrating today after a senior appeals court upheld that a lesbian couple can legally marry. It is the highest court in Brazil to uphold a same-sex marriage – and comes less than six months after the South American country first granted civil unions…

The pair, like many others, previously had their applications blocked at two earlier stages in lower courts, but – in a 4-1 vote yesterday – the Supreme Appeals Court ruled that the Constitution "makes it possible for stable civil unions to become marriages". 

According to the Associated Foreign Press, the court also added that: "sexual orientation should not serve as a pretext for excluding families from the legal protection that marriage represents."



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