Following landmark legislation that made Minnesota the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage yesterday, the Brazilian National Council of Justice announced a giant leap forward for marriage equality efforts in South America.
AFP reports that a Brazilian panel appointed to clarify same-sex marriage laws in the country ruled yesterday that gay couples could not be denied marriage licenses. Leader of the panel, Supreme Court Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa, said there’s no reason to wait for Brazilian Congress to pass legislation to officially legalize same-sex marriage, claiming “the expression of homosexuality and homosexual affection cannot serve as a basis for discriminatory treatment, which has no support in the Constitution.”
Though Barbosa was the one to issue statements on behalf of the panel, the group’s decision doesn’t hold weight before the Supreme Court. It’s a nice sentiment, but the “It’s already legal” declaration could likely wind up in a judicial loophole as it did in New Mexico last month, allowing clerks to continue denying marriage licences. Bummer.
The big question on everyone’s mind now is: Will Marc Jacobs and Harry Louis get gay married in Brazil? They seem to enjoy the country pretty well!