TUPA, Brazil, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A public notary in Brazil said she granted civil union status to three people, setting off a firestorm of criticism.
Claudia do Nascimento Dominigues, the equivalent of town clerk for Tupa in Sao Paolo state, said she registered the three in a "stable union," which extends them the benefits of marriage as a family unit for legal purposes, three months ago.
While Brazil is noted for its progressive social policies, not all are embracing the alliance, CNN reported Friday.
"The union is devoid of any legality," said Regina Beatriz Tavares da Silva, head of the family law committee of a Sao Paolo lawyer's association. Noting Brazilian law defines marriage as a union between two people, involving three is impossible.
It goes directly against the Constitution," da Silva said. "Monogamy is defined as relations between two, not three or four or five."
Dominigues said the trio, a man and two women in their 30s who live together in Rio de Janeiro, share a bank account and sought legal protections in case of separation or death.
"By registering them I only confirmed they recognize themselves as a family. I don't confer rights to them. That's up to a judge."
There is no word for the arrangement in Portuguese, CNN said. Dominigues called it "uniao polifetiva," her best guess in English being "polyfidelitous union."