On Wednesday, Parana (South) became the
tenth Brazilian state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry
without the permission of a judge, the AFP reported.
While no federal law allows gay couples
to marry in Brazil, the nation's Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that the
government must recognize the unions of gay couples.
Soon after, gay couples in various
states petitioned judges to convert their “stable unions” into
full marriages, with mixed rulings.
Marriage is regulated at the federal,
not state, level in Brazil. Neither the country's constitution nor
its federal laws ban such unions.
According to a count by the office of
Rep. Jean Wyllys, Brazil's first openly gay lawmaker, ten states out
of twenty-seven now automatically convert such unions into marriage,
they include: Alagoas, Bahia, Ceara, Sergipe, Espiritu Santo, Piaui,
Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul and the Federal District.
In 2011, Wyllys, who parlayed a 2005
Big Brother Brazil win into a political career, introduced a
marriage equality bill, which he continues to champion.