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.