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Topics In the News
 
Rio de Janeiro Becomes Eleventh Brazilian State to Embrace Marriage Equality
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 04/19/13
Last updated on: 04/19/13
 
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A promotion welcoming glbtq tourists to Rio de Janeiro.

As a result of a judicial order of April 19, 2013, Rio de Janeiro has become the latest Brazilian state to achieve marriage equality. The order by the Magistrate General of Justice of Rio, Judge Valmir de Oliveira Silva, which was published in the official newspaper of the state, permits same-sex couples, like opposite-sex couples, to marry in registry offices without requiring special permission from a judge. The second most populous state in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro joins ten other states in extending equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. These eleven states comprise well over 50% of Brazil's population.

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most popular gay tourist destinations in the world. Not only is it the home of an exuberant celebration of Carnival, it also hosts an annual gay New Year's Eve party that attracts visitors from all over the world. The 2016 Summer Olympics and the Paralympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro, which will mark the first time a South American or a Portuguese-speaking nation hosts the event.

Over the last two decades, Brazil has made impressive strides toward achieving equal rights for its glbtq citizens.

In 2004, Brazil first recognized same-sex "stable unions" as similar to common-law marriages in terms of rights and obligations. This recognition was greatly expanded on May 4, 2011, when Brazil's highest court, on a 10-0 vote, with one abstention, ruled that partners in a "stable" same-sex union had the same legal rights as a heterosexual married couple. "Discrimination generates hatred," wrote Justice Carlos Ayres Britto.

The ruling meant that Brazilian same-sex couples are entitled to retirement, inheritance, and health benefits on the same basis as married couples, as well as other rights, including the right to adopt children.

In response to the landmark ruling, judges throughout the country began converting civil unions into full-fledged marriages, following an existing procedure for converting common-law marriages into legal marriages.

Thus, throughout Brazil, same-sex couples may petition a court to recognize their "stable unions" as marriages.

However, only in eleven states, including Alagoas, Bahia, Brazilian Federal District, Piauí, São Paulo, Ceará, Mato Grosso do Sul, Sergipe, Paraná, and now Rio de Janeiro, may same-sex couples marry in registry offices without requiring judicial intervention.

The lawsuit that resulted in the landmark judicial ruling was initiated by Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral and supported by President Dilma Rousseff and Attorney General Roberto Gurgel.

Below is a video touting Rio de Janeiro to glbtq tourists.

 
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