Gay activists in Brazil are celebrating today after a senior
appeals court upheld that a lesbian couple can legally marry.
It is the highest court in Brazil to uphold a same-sex marriage
- and comes less than six months after the South American country
first granted civil unions.
The bid was part of a wider protest which saw several couples
apply for full marriage licenses, not just civil partnerships.
The pair, like many others, previously had their applications
blocked at two earlier stages in lower courts, but - in a 4-1 vote
yesterday - the Supreme Appeals Court ruled that the Constitution
"makes it possible for stable civil unions to become
According to the Associated Foreign Press, the court also added
that: "sexual orientation should not serve as a pretext for
excluding families from the legal protection that marriage
Equality advocates hope the ruling will help relax attitudes in
South America and influence neighbouring countries.
In Latin America, gay marriage is legal in Argentina and Mexico