Brazil's high court will hear a legal
challenge to the country's prohibition on civil unions for gay and
Justices will begin hearing arguments
on Thursday after opening deliberations on Wednesday, the AFP
The challenge was filed by Rio state
Governor Sergio Cabral. Cabral's state recognizes gay couples with
An effort to make Brazil the second
Latin American country behind Argentina to legalize gay marriage was
in March by Representative Jean Wyllys. Gay marriage is also
legal in the self-governing city-state of Mexico City, and the
nation's highest court has ruled that all states must recognize such
lawmakers are also considering a gay marriage bill.
“Until there is a law regulating
homosexual civil union and marriage, the high court's recognition of
a stable union is the best thing that could happen so that gay
couples rights are accepted once and for all,” said judge Maria
The lawsuit is supported by President
Dilma Rousseff's top prosecutor, Attorney General Roberto Gurgel.
“When the state refuses to recognize
a homosexual (civil) union, it is sacrificing rights that parties to
that union have,” Gurgel said.