Brazil's top appeals court on Tuesday
overturned a lower court's decision that blocked two women from
legally marrying, Spanish news agency EFE reported.
The Superior Court of Justice of Brazil
ruled in favor of an appeal by two women from the southern state of
Rio Grande do Sul seeking to marry.
The 5-member panel voted 4 to 1 in
favor of the plaintiffs, becoming the highest court in Brazil to
uphold gay marriage and overturning two lower courts' rulings against
It was the third judicial victory in
recent months for gay marriage advocates in Latin America's most
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.