A Rio De Janerio judge, in a first for the region, has granted a same-sex couple the right to have their civil union upgraded to a marriage.
Judge Luiz Felipe Francisco said Brazilian law does not prohibit marriage between members of the same sex.
“As there is no explicit barrier to marriage between two people of the same sex, it would be contrary to principles enshrined in the Constitution, such as equality, human dignity and pluralism [to deny the request,]” a statement reads.
The couple asked the court last October to recognize their civil union — referred to as a “stable union” in Brazil — as a marriage. It is the first such decision in the state of Rio de Janeiro and the latest victory in recent months for gay marriage advocates in Latin America’s most populous nation.
Previously, other couples have successfully petitioned to have their unions recognized as marriages but not all judges have interpreted the country’s laws to include equal access to marriage.
Currently only Mexico City and Alagoas officially allow for same-sex marriages. However, due to a high court ruling, all states must recognize legal same-sex marriages that were carried out in other regions so as to ensure that same-sex couples’ partnership and parental rights are upheld when travelling through the country.