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RIO DE JANEIRO — The council overseeing Brazil’s judiciary ruled on Tuesday that notary publics cannot refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, a decision that opens the way for gay couples across Latin America’s largest country to marry.
That is the lead paragraph in Brazilian Court Council Removes a Barrier to Same-Sex Marriage.

A few things to note
1.  the council is headed by the the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
2.  it had previously voted to allow civil unions, but some notary publics and some of the local judges supervising them had refused to even do that.
3.  the vote on the council was 14-1.
4.  the ruling also means notaries  reregister civil unions as marriages upon request
5.  this is not in isolation: 10 of Brazil's 27 states had already legislatively legalized same-sex marriages

Still, there is some room for judicial appeals of the Brazilian decision, potentially within the high court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, and resistance may emerge in Congress, where gay-marriage legislation has faced opposition from an influential bloc of evangelical Christian lawmakers. Even so, supporters of same-sex marriage described the council’s decision as pioneering.
Brazil has over 140 million Catholics.  The next largest catholic population is in Mexico, with 98 million.  Same sex marriage is legal in Mexico City, and a few months back the nation's Supreme Court ruled that legislation in Oaxaca state banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional under the national constitution.

Uruguay, Argentina, France, Portugal, Spain - all predominantly Catholic countries which already had marriage equality, with Brazil and Mexico now seemingly joining them, and countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and Scandinavian countries.

News i thought worth sharing.


Originally posted to teacherken on Wed May 15, 2013 at 04:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by Good News.

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