Brazil's high court ruled that same-sex civil unions must be recognized, a decision welcomed as a watershed by gay activists who also hope it will cool rising violence against homosexuals in Latin America's most populous nation.
The ruling, however, stopped short of legalizing gay marriage in Brazil, which has more Roman Catholics than any other country. The Catholic Church fought the measure....
The court ruled that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as heterosexual pairs when it comes to alimony, retirement benefits of a partner who dies and inheritances, among other issues.
In Latin America, gay marriage is legal only in Argentina and Mexico City.
Same-sex civil unions granting some rights to homosexual couples are legal in Uruguay and in some states of Mexico outside the capital. Colombia's Constitutional Court has granted same-sex couples inheritance rights and allowed them to add their partners to health insurance plans.
Brazil's ruling sets a judicial precedent that must be honored by all public institutions, including notary publics where civil unions must be registered.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Brazil recognizes same sex couples
The high court in Brazil recognizes civil unions, despite vigorous opposition from Catholic conservatives. From AP: