Brazil grants first citizenship based on same-sex marriage

The Brazilian government on Monday granted citizenship for the first time to a foreigner based on his same-sex marriage. Spaniard Antonio Vega Herrera will become a Brazilian citizen due to his marriage with his Brazilian partner, according to the country's Federal Register. The news comes a month after Brazil's High Court of Justice upheld the same-sex marriage of two women. The court voted 4-1 in favor of recognizing same-sex marriages. The ruling was necessary following a number of disparate rulings by lower courts on petitions from couples seeking to have their civil unions recognized as full marriages.

Foreign and domestic courts and legislatures are increasingly addressing the issue of same-sex civil unions and marriages. In August, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera proposed legislation that would legalize same-sex civil unions. The bill would extend inheritance and social welfare rights to same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples. Pinera insisted that marriage is between a man and a women but acknowledged that other forms of relationships are effective and that the state is obligated to recognize, protect and respect those partnerships. In April, Hungary added a prohibition against gay marriage to its constitution. France upheld a same-sex marriage ban in January.

(Published by Jurist - November 15, 2011)

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