UPDATED: Brazil Approves Civil Unions For Gay Couples

Here’s the tweet from NoticiasLGBT, an account that provides “a look at the LGBT world in Latin America and the rest of the world.” More as this develops…

UPDATE: In a unanimous decision reached by the 10 justices, Brazil’s Supreme Court found that, “Those who opt for a homosexual union cannot be treated less than equally as citizens,” Justice Camen Lucia was quoted by the AP. This means that couples in “stable” civil unions now share the same rights as married couples: including retirement benefits, inheritance, health benefits and the adoption of children. Everything but the word, right?

We often think of Brazil as the day dream destination of drama queens – large Pride celebrations, flamboyant beach attire and male models – but it’s also “number one when it comes to assassination, discrimination and violence against homosexuals,” said Marcelo Cerqueira, head of Gay Group of Bahia. Still gay activists in the country are hopeful that this will pave way for Brazil to follow Argentina and become the second country in Latin America to approve same-sex civil marriages.

ORIGINAL STORY: Brazilian Supreme Court justices have just reached a unanimous decision that will grant federal civil rights to gay and lesbian couples in the Latin American country. Deliberations began after a lawsuit was filed by Rio state governor Sergio Cabral, who believed in giving state employees the same rights. He was supported by Brazilian attorney general Roberto Gurgel.

Brazil is the fourth country in Latin America to approve of same-sex unions after Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina (which also grants marriage). Same-sex civil unions have only been granted in Mexico City and the northern state of Coahuila, but not the rest of the country.