Sao Paulo: 46 same-sex couples register their civil union and receive religious blessing
The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo organized a collective ‘gay partnership day’ in which 46 couples had their relationship registered as a civil union, followed by a religious blessing and an all night party.
The event was a partnership between the government of the state of Sao Paulo, its department of justice and the leisure centre of northeastern traditions (CTN) in the city of Sao Paulo.
The event happened late on Friday night (28 September), where 46 couples registered their relationship as a civil union which also offered to be solemnized by the evangelical pastor Lanna Hold and Reverend Cristiano Valeiro, sponsored by CTN.
The idea of the collective gay partnership day was suggested by CTN, which selected 46 couples from many applicants, of which 31 were lesbian and 15 gay couples.
With the help of the department of justice of the state of São Paulo and civil registry streamlined the documentation of couples which had a collective ceremony on Friday.
CTN chief executive said that: ‘The gay community is very present here as well in CTN. We’ve observed that the community has changed a lot. So we thought it would only be fair to recognize what they call for. The religious celebration today marks a feat of this right, for equality, which is a milestone for the recognition of these citizens.’
The first couple to register their union was Priscila Pires da Silva, 24, and Kathrein Marrechi of 31 years, who have been together for two years now.
Prisicila told the daily Diario de Sao Paulo: ‘we wanted to marry for a long time, we saw the opportunity and went for it.'
Katherin explained: ‘We wanted to live together from the start.’
They plan to now convert their civil union into civil marriage through the courts.
Prisicila stated that once they establish civil union they plan to go to court to obtain the right for civil marriage: ‘We’re pioneers, but I believe there is still a long way to go for us to achieve our goal of our rights. We will fight to achieve a civil marriage, this is our first step.’
On June 27, 2011, a Sao Paulo state Judge Fernando Henrique Pinto ruled that a case of two men could convert their civil union into a full marriage. Brazil's Supreme Court then cleared the way in the following May for the recognition of same-sex civil unions, but stopped short of approving gay marriages.
However the ruling set a precedent in which civil unions could be converted into a full marriage in the state of Sao Paulo and potentially other on a case by case basis.