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  Brazil Top Court Recognized Same-Sex Civil Unions
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Last EditedRP  May 06, 2011 02:33pm
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CategoryLegal Ruling
AuthorBRADLEY BROOKS
News DateFriday, May 6, 2011 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBrazil's high court ruled that same-sex civil unions must be recognized, a decision welcomed as a watershed by gay activists who also hope it will cool rising violence against homosexuals in Latin America's most populous nation.

The ruling, however, stopped short of legalizing gay marriage in Brazil, which has more Roman Catholics than any other country. The Catholic Church fought the measure.

In a vote late Thursday, all but one of the 11 Supreme Court justices backed civil union rights for same-sex couple. One justice abstained.

The court ruled that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as heterosexual pairs when it comes to alimony, retirement benefits of a partner who dies and inheritances, among other issues.

In Latin America, gay marriage is legal only in Argentina and Mexico City.

Same-sex civil unions granting some rights to homosexual couples are legal in Uruguay and in some states of Mexico outside the capital. Colombia's Constitutional Court has granted same-sex couples inheritance rights and allowed them to add their partners to health insurance plans.
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