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São Paulo to allow marriage equality

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

The Brazilian state of São Paulo announced today that it would allow same-sex couples to wed, the website Brazilian Law Blog reports (and Joe My God passes on):

“São Paulo State (where São Paulo city is located) has updated its registration rules in order to allow the automatic registration of same sex marriages, without the need of a previous court order.

“This change has followed, with some delay, a decision from the Brazilian Supreme Court regarding same sex marriage.

“Therefore, foreigners who wish to marry same sex partners in Brazil will now be allowed a marriage visa, which is much easier to obtain than the civil union visa for same sex unions, which already existed.”

São Paulo State, with a population of 41 million (including the residents of Brazil’s largest city of the same name), joins three other Brazilian states, Alagoas, Piauí and Bahia, in allowing its citizens full marriage equality.  In the country’s other states, same-sex couples can enter into what’s called a “stable union” and then ask a judge to convert that union into a marriage.

Updated at 4:45 pm Eastern to correct the number of Brazilian states that have marriage equality.  There are now four states, not three.  Thanks for the comment, Stefan!


  • 1. Stefan  |  December 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    It's actually the 4th Brazilian state to have marriage equality, as the state of Piaui legalized it just a few days ago as well!

  • 2. Straight Ally #3008  |  December 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    So Brazil is in the same boat as Mexico, with de facto in-country marriage equality. I wonder if SCOTUS might end up striking Section 2 of DOMA, effectively bringing the U.S. into the same category. Still an imposition to force certain couples to travel to get married, but far better than the current situation.

  • 3. Bill S.  |  December 23, 2012 at 6:40 am

    This won't happen 1) Because there is no challenge to DOMA Section 2. The Supreme Court can't just make up its own lawsuits. 2) DOMA Section 2 is actually constitutional. There is no legal basis for striking it down, unless the Supreme Court finds that same-sex couples also have a constitutional right to marry in any state of the country.

  • 4. _BK_  |  December 21, 2012 at 2:02 am

    This is great news! Are these marriages recognized by the federal government of Brazil?

  • 5. Stefan  |  December 21, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Yup because Brazil does not have a DOMA-esque law they are recognized throughout the entire country.

  • 6. Steve  |  December 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Only the US could ever come with such a fucked up law and not respect a state's decisions.

  • 7. Clarknt67  |  December 21, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Tourist visas aren't hard to get. I didn't know they had a marriage specific one.

    Tourist visas are relatively pricy to Brazil. The US jacked up the price of an American visa for Brazilians so they retaliated.

    Hooray as marriage equality moves on!

  • 8. Stefan  |  December 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

    And more news from South America! There is word that the Uruguay Senate will vote on same-sex marriage before their summer recess shortly after Christmas due to the popularity of the bill in the House of Deputies!

  • 9. Eric-ATL  |  December 23, 2012 at 1:27 am

    America…land of the free? Not at all if you're gay. You can legally be fired here for being LGBT. Pay more in taxes for being in a loving same sex relationship. And as recently as a litle over a year ago, had to remain closeted while dying for your country. Land of the free? Not so much. But certainly the home of the brave LGBT people who live in it and fight with passion for *full* equal treatment under the law.

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