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Brazil OKs same-sex civil unions

May 7, 2011 at 9:29 PM

SAO PAULO, May 7 (UPI) -- Brazil's Supreme Court has unanimously recognized same-sex civil unions, making the South American nation the largest country to do so.

In an attempt to curb violence against Brazil's gay population and promote equality, the country's Supreme Court voted 10-0 to recognize same-sex civil unions Thursday, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Brazil became the sixth country in Latin America to recognize gay civil unions, joining Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico City. It is the largest of about two dozen nations that have legalized gay civil unions, the online newspaper said.

With the court's ruling, same-sex couples in Brazil can now share inheritances, pensions, health plans and have legal route to divide belongings after a separation.

"The society itself in Brazil despite being very religious ... has processed this debate in a very positive way, and the media has had a good role," Brazilian League of Lesbians spokeswoman Marinalva Santana said.

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