May 15 - Landmark ruling in Brazil removes bureaucratic obstacles for same sex couples seeking marriage licenses. Sarah Sheffer reports.
Since a May 2011 Supreme Court ruling, gay couples in Brazil can legally marry-- although no actual federal legislation permitting same sex unions has been passed. But some registry offices have refused to comply with the Supreme Court decision allowing same sex unions, citing non-existence of a law as grounds. On Tuesday, Brazil's National Council of Justice passed legislation to remove some of these obstacles. Under the resolution, registries are forbidden to refuse the authorization and execution of civil marriages or conversions of same-sex unions into civil marriage. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL'S SUPREME COURT, JOAQUIM BARBOSA, SAYING: "The council (CNJ) here is removing administrative obstacles for a decision that was taken by the supreme court and that is being looked at by others." The notion was approved by a vote of 14-1. The ruling means Brazil is one step closer to becoming like Argentina and Uruguay, which have both legalized same-sex marriages.