Post submitted by Limor Finkel, Former HRC Global Engagement Program Coordinator

In the largest collective wedding ceremony ever held, over 100 committed gay and lesbian couples tied the knot at Rio de Janeiro’s Superior Court of Justice. Sunday marked the first civil marriages for same-sex couples in Rio.
In 2011, the Supreme Court of Brazil legalized same-sex civil unions and 14 of the country’s 27 states have legalized same-sex marriage since that time.
While the Brazilian federal congress has not passed a law condemning or authorizing same-sex marriage, the National Council of Justice, which oversees the country’s judicial system, ruled in May 2013 that government notaries cannot deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Brazilian judge, Cristina Gaulia, noted that the mass wedding signifies a “political victory” for same-sex couples in the country.
 Currently, fifteen countries now have marriage equality nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, and New Zealand). In England and Wales, marriage equality will begin on March 29.

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