Three more Brazilian states rule in favor of allowing same-sex marriage

Three more Brazilian states rule in favor of allowing same-sex marriage

Justices in the Brazilian states of Rondônia, Paraíba and Santa Catarina have ruled to authorize marriage equality for same-sex couples, bringing the total to 14 of the country’s 27 states to legalize same-sex marriage.

The ruling by the Corregedor Geral de Justiça caps a month where five state justices in Brazil ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

The ruling in Rondônia came Friday, and on Monday from justices in Paraíba and Santa Catarina. Earlier in the month, similar rulings were issued in the state of state of Rio de Janeiro (April 17) and Mato Grosso do Sul (April 2).

Brazil has rapidly advanced its gay marriage and civil unions laws in the past two years — in 2011, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court approved same-sex couples to receive the same rights as married couples through civil unions.

The ruling allows same-sex couples who are joined together in “stable union” to petition judges to convert their union into a marriage.

The two-step process to being married can be performed across Brazil, but since then, state judges in many jurisdictions have ordered an end to the process, converting the unions into fully recognized marriages.

Similar to as in the U.S., the decision to allow marriage between same-sex couples must be determined by each of Brazil’s 26 states and its federal district.

In São Paulo, the country’s most populous state with 41 million people, a state judge issued a similar ruling in December.

More than 60 percent of Brazilians can now marry without going through the two-step process.

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