Brazil and Same Sex Marriage

I ran across this story in Proud Parenting describing a Brazilian court case which imposed a legal restriction on a lesbian because her relationship with her partner was “tantamount to marriage”.

We generally don’t think of court rulings imposing restrictions as a major advance in rights, but this one may be! Here is the story: Astrid Cunha e Silva and Eulina Rabelo are lesbian partners. Ms. Cunha e Silva is currently the mayor of the small town of Viseu; Ms. Rebelo wants to run for office and replace the mayor at the end of her term. However, Brazilian law blocks the spouse and relatives of an elected official from succeeding them in office.

Sp. when Mr. Rabelo decided to run, the courts needed to decide if their relationship is marriage as far as the election law is concerned. Judges ruled unanimously that Ms. Rabelo cannot run because of the two are, for all intents and purposes, married.

Now, obviously, one does not hope to read of judges imposing legal restrictions associated with marriage, while refusing benefits, but I can only wonder:
Is Brazil about to fully recognize Same Sex Marriage? The answer may be yes.

Proud Parenting’s article states:

This is the first ruling of its kind by a federal court in Brazil, and is seen as another step toward forcing the government to permit same-sex marriage.

Brazilian judges in earlier cases have recognized same-sex partnerships in the area of pension rights, and limited rights and benefits have been accorded to gay couples in some regions of the country.

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5 Responses to Brazil and Same Sex Marriage

  1. 1
    Carlos says:

    This looks like a political play to me. The women involved deny the relationship.

  2. 2
    lucia says:

    That’s interesting, Carlos. Do you have any information about the possible ploy, and who is pulling it?

    That is: is it the women pulling it? Or are some people trying to knock the woman out of the race for some reason?

  3. 3
    tomatoketchupkotei says:

    i first read the story at the bbc, where they picked up more or less the same celebratory tone as o globo, that added that it was a first for the apparently conservative tribunal.

    in the ruling from the supreme electoral tribunal (TSE, not the usual courts), one of the ministers says that “we live in times of truth regarding love, and it’s political consequence [in this case] should be an impediment” to maria eulina rabelo de sousa’s candidacy. in one of the positions, minister gilmar mendes compared stable homosexual relationships to concubinage, married couples and other family ties.

    you can also read about this in the news service of the asamblea legislativa do para, where they add that the ministers heard at least 10 witnesses on their relationship.

    anyways, it’s not strange. south american gay communities have already made huge advances– colombia and argentina (the city of buenos aires) have opened registries, as well as some states in brazil; and a project for ss civil unions is on stand-by at the chilean congress.

  4. 4
    lucia says:

    I hope I didn’t imply the idea that South American and/or latin countries grant gay rights where others have not is strange. I’m happy to hear it. I like to post articles showing some sort of advance in any country where it occurs. Right now, there seem to be changes happening all over Latin America,

    I do think this particular situation is unusual. I tend to view some sort of formal recognition that marriages exist as an advance. In this case, it means a gay person is blocked from running for office. So, there is the incongruity that what I generally consider an advance is the imposition of a restriction.

    Of course, it would be horrid if the courts found ways to impose restrictions of marriage without the rights. But, I don’t have reason to see that happening. I agree we are seeing advances in Latin America.

  5. 5
    João Cangussu says:

    In the city where i was born here in Brazil, the major of the city (prefeita) is a woman, and she lives with another woman for more than 10 years.
    I’m sure that the brazilian culture won’t deny the marriage of same-sex people, but we are a 3º world and we have thousands and thousands of problems to be solved before our Juridical System turns to this matter.
    And more, the brazilian laws consider as married (with the same rights) all the couples with more than 12 months together, whatever if same-sex or not. I remember when one famous singer named Cassia Eller died and the justice said that her son had to live with Cassia’s wife and not with Cassia’s parents.
    You all must understand that here in Brazil there’s no one standard to live, there’s no rules for sexual and religious life; If you are married and want to have one ‘step-wife’ you are under the laws; If you want to be a gay you are under the laws; If you want to put the spiders to fight you are also under the laws, becouse this country don’t tells you what do do bettew for walls…