As lawmakers in Brazil continue to
debate whether to legalize gay marriage, Sao Paulo state has
effectively done it.
With a population of more than 41
million, Sao Paulo is Brazil's most populous state. Its capital,
also named Sao Paulo, is the largest city in South American and ranks
as the world's seventh largest city by population. The city of Sao
Paulo also exerts strong regional and worldwide influence. It has
been named an Alpha World City, a city important to the global
economic system. Sao Paulo hosts what is considered the world's
largest Gay Pride parade.
Brazil currently recognizes gay and
lesbian couples with “stable unions,” a form of civil unions
which offers couples a range of rights similar to marriage. In recent
months, several couples have successfully petitioned the courts to
convert their stable unions to full marriages.
According to Brazilian
Law Blog, an update to the state's registration rules allow the
automatic conversion of stable unions into marriages, without the
need for a court order, effectively legalizing gay nuptials. The
change, which takes effect in February, will also allow foreigners to
easily acquire a marriage visa.