Brazil moves to same sex reform
When I think of Brazil, my mind immediately turns to Rio and Carnivale, and I confess to thinking of Peter Allen or Barry Manilow singing.
However, whilst Peter Allen and Barry Manilow might have known about same sex relationships and sung about Brazil, my mind did not until now think of “Brazil” and “same sex relationships” in the same sentence.
However, events from Brazil show that, sometimes, courts in making decisions in their cases are able to move the political agenda along.
We saw this clearly demonstrated in Australia for example in the Mabo case.
A gay couple, Antonio Carlos Silva and Professor Brent James Townsend, who married in Canada, wanted to allow Professor Townsend to migrate to Brazil, which meant that they had to show that their relationship would be recognised under Brazilian law.
They went to the Superior Court of Justice which held that there is no law banning stable unions between same sex couples. The case was remitted back to Rio authorities to determine whether to recognise the relationship.
Lawyer Maria Cristina Reali Esposito said:
“The court acknowledges the homosexual union as a family entity. From
there, you can look at ensuring other rights to gay couples, such as division of
property and child support in case of separation, for example.”
Immediately following the court case, there was a recognition in Brazil that they do have same sex relationships. Brazil’s President Lula da Silva stated that same sex relationships should be recognised and embraced.
According to Pinknews.co.uk:
In June Lula became the first nation leader to launch a conference with the
sole purpose of promoting gay equality, where he announced his support for gay
rights, and stated he will “do all that is possible so that the criminalisation
of homophobia and the civil union may be approved.”
A proposal granting same-sex couples the same rights as married heterosexuals has stalled in Brazil’s Congress for more than 10 years, prompting some states to take their own action.
Southern Rio Grande do Sul state has permitted same-sex civil
unions since 2004, and a Sao Paulo state court allowed a gay couple to adopt a
5-year-old girl in late 2006.