BRASILIA – Brazil’s National Judiciary Council, or CNJ, on Tuesday approved by a vote of 14-1 a resolution amounting to de facto legalization of same-sex unions.
The CNJ decision says that civil registrars will be “obligated” to convert stable unions between two people of the same sex into marriages, if that is requested, and that they will not be able to refuse to marry gay couples.
The CNJ, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa, oversees and regulates the activities of the judiciary.
The decision “harmonizes” the law with a May 2011 court ruling that acknowledged “stable unions” between people of the same sex, the CNJ said.
Under the ruling, any civil registrar who refuses to perform a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple could be subject to disciplinary action by the CNJ.
The CNJ decision could be contested before the Supreme Court given that Congress still has not passed legislation on the matter, despite the fact that different bills that propose recognizing same-sex marriages have existed for years.
Those bills, however, have been blocked by conservative political forces and religious organizations.
“It would make no sense to expect Congress to pass a law to make a judicial decision effective,” Barbosa said Tuesday. EFE