Brazilian court approves gay unions
May 06, 2011
Brazil's supreme court has ruled that the government must recognize same-sex unions.
In its May 5 decision the Federal Supreme Court reasoned that although the country's constitution does not explicitly mention the matter, the right to freedom of expression should be understood to include the choice of sexual conduct.
The court's ruling, which will allow for government recognition of same-sex unions without a vote by the people's elected representatives, represents a defeat for the Church in the world's most populous Catholic country. The Brazilian bishops have campaigned against recognition of same-sex unions, arguing that such a step would undermine respect for traditional marriage. The court's reasoning--reducing sexual conduct to a choice of expression--justifies the bishops' warnings.
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