Rio de Janeiro becomes the latest state in Brazil to pass the freedom to marry
April 19, 2013
This week, marriage moved forward in Brazil when the Corregedor Geral de Justiça of Rio de Janeiro authorized marriages between same-sex couples. Rio de Janeiro is now the tenth state to pass the freedom to marry in Brazil; same-sex couples may also marry in Brasilia, the federal district similar to Washington, D.C. in the United States.
Since 2011, federal marriage laws in Brazil have been somewhat confusing; on May 5, 2011, the Supreme Federal Court voted to allow same-sex couples nationwide many of the legal rights as married couples (through a mechanism called "stable union"), and since June 2011, same-sex couples joined together in "stable union" may petition judges to convert their union into a marriage. The two-step process to being married can be performed across Brazil, but now many jurisdictions - now including Rio de Janeiro - have ordered a final end to the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.
In these states (and the federal district), couples can marry in Brazil without the two-step process: Alagoas (December 2011), Sergipe (July 2012), Espíritu Santo (August 2012), Bahía (November 2012), the Brazilian Federal District (December 2012), Piauí (December 2012), São Paulo (December 2012), Ceará (March 2013), Paraná (March 2013), Mato Grosso do Sul (April 2013), and now Rio de Janeiro (April 2013).
The news out of Rio de Janeiro is the latest international victory for the freedom to marry. This month, the legislatures in Uruguay, France, and New Zealand have taken definitive votes to pass the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide.
Same-sex couples can share in the freedom to marry in 16 countries.