Brazil on Track for Marriage Equality

The nation's Supreme Court chief justice says same-sex couples deserve marriage licenses.

BY Neal Broverman

May 14 2013 2:32 PM ET

Brazilians Mikelly de Jesus (L), 44, and her bride Leia de Jesus, 29, listen to the priest as they get married during a collective gay marriage ceremony, in Sao Paulo on June 13, 2009. (DANIEL KFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

National marriage equality may be coming to South America's largest country as Brazil's top judge declared Tuesday that government officials issuing marriage licenses have no standing to refuse gay couples.

The edict came from the National Council of Justice, which oversees the nation's judicial system and is led by Joaquim Barbosa, the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The decision was based on a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that authorized gay couples to receive all the rights of marriage, save for the name.

Though the council's decision could be appealed to the Supreme Court, it's a strong indication that Brazil is headed in the direction of national marriage equality (several Brazilian states already offer marriage licenses to gay couples).

Tags: World

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