Brazil's first openly gay lawmaker,
Jean Wyllys, is widely expected on Tuesday to introduce legislation
that would legalize gay marriage.
Wyllys, who parlayed a 2005 Big
Brother Brazil win into a political career, will introduce the
legislation with the support of leaders from two countries which have
already approved the institution.
Argentine National Deputy Vilma Ibarra,
who played a prominent role in last year's effort to legalize gay
marriage in her country, and the Spanish socialist Pedro Zerolo will
assist Wyllys in the effort. Spain legalized marriage for gay and
lesbian couples in 2005.
Currently, gay couples cannot legally
marry in Brazil, where marriage is regulated by the federal
government, not the states. Courts, however, have ruled that gay
couples are de facto partners, a status that grants many benefits
similar to marriage.
Neither the country's constitution nor
its laws ban gay marriage, but both fail to acknowledge it
After announcing his plans, Wyllys, a
member of the socialist-inspired P-SOL party, received homophobic
threats on social networks, including Twitter. The threats have not
stopped at Brazil's border; several came from the UK and the United
On Sunday he tweeted to his more than
31,000 followers: “The psychoanalyst Helio Pellegrino said that a
person who is blinded by hatred and jealousy is doomed to miss his
life. A good lesson for you!”