A court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
approved a request to convert the civil union of a gay male couple
into a civil marriage, the AFP reported.
Judge Luiz Felipe Francisco said
Brazilian law does not prohibit marriage between members of the same
“As there is no explicit barrier to
marriage between two people of the same sex, it would be contrary to
principles enshrined in the Constitution, such as equality, human
dignity and pluralism [to deny the request,]” a statement reads.
The couple asked the court last October
to recognize their civil union – referred to as a “stable union”
in Brazil – as a marriage. It is the first such decision in the
state of Rio de Janeiro and the latest victory in recent months for
gay marriage advocates in Latin America's most populous nation.
Two men in June were allowed by a state
court judge to legally change their civil union into a full marriage.
And in May, the nation's Supreme Court ruled that the government
must recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions, but
volleyed the issue of marriage back to legislators.
The decision prompted several couples
to petition the court system to convert their civil unions into full
marriages, with mixed rulings.
Gay couples can legally marry in
Argentina and the city-state of Mexico City.