Laws

BRAZIL

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum, Refugees
Civil Unions
  Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates, Succession
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance, Wills
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
  Military
Partners
Parenting
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

The age of consent is reported to be 14 years

R1.1 Avert: Worldwide Ages of Consent
Assisted Reproduction,
Artificial Insemination, IVF, Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 09 May 2013, the Federal Medical Council was reported to have issued a clarifying decree guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to access assisted fertilization [R1.2].

On 06 January 2011, the national association of doctors published new rules for in vitro fertilization that let same-sex couples and single people qualify for the process [R1.1].

The new standards also allow fertilization using eggs or sperm from the deceased with prior approval, and impose limits on how many embryos can be implanted. [R1.1].

Previously:

Guidelines that were in place for nearly two decades, barred gay couples from qualifying for the procedure [R1.1]

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 03 March 2012, it was reported that the Federal Council of Medicine, had authorized the artificial fertilization with sperm donations from either Mailton Alves, 35, and Wilson Albuquerque, 40, a male couple who were married in 2011.

Clicerio Bezerra, a family court judge in the Pernambuco capital of Recife, legally recognized the paternity of the couple's child, telling a local newspaper "This case is the only one in which two men have registered a baby as a legitimate child, as far as I know." If it "is permitted that (same sex couples) constitute a family through marriage, why not allow that family to be completed with a child," he added.

Doctors used an anonymous egg donor and sperm from Alves. The fertilized egg was implanted into the womb of his cousin [R2.1].

R1.2 LGBTQ Nation: Brazil to allow in-vitro fertilization for same-sex couples 10 MAY 13
R1.1 365Gay.com: Brazil OKs in vitro fertilization for gay couples 06 JAN 11
R2.1 7News: Brazilian gay couple has child by IVF 03 MAR 12
Asylum, Immigration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 14 November 2011, as a consequence of the Federal Supreme Court ruled 4–1 that the Constitution "makes it possible for stable civil unions to become marriages", the Government has granted Spanish man, Antonio Vega Herrera the right to live permanently in the country based on a same-sex relationship with his Brazilian partner [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In November 2003, a Brazilian court issued an unprecedented ruling giving a British man the right to a permanent visa based on his union with a Brazilian man [R2.1].

R1.1 The Washington Post: Brazil grants a foreigner permanent residency based on same-sex-marriage 15 NOV 11
R2.1 Associated Press: Gay Union Basis for Visa in Brazil 26 NOV 03
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In January 2002, the lesbian partner of the late rock star Cassia Eller won temporary custody of Eller's son [R1.1].

R1.1 Reuters: Brazilian Rocker's Gay Partner Wins Child Custody 09 JAN 02
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 24 May 2012, the human rights committee in Brazil's Senate approved a change in the law to say a civil union is between two people, without saying they have to be opposite genders. The bill still has to pass through other senate committees before it can get to a full vote and become law [R1.4].

In August 2001, attempts by left-wing members of the Brazilian Congress to pass a law recognising same-sex relationships failed, with the bill being withdrawn until after next year's elections [R1.3].

Labor Party MP Roberto Jefferson said he was working to have the bill reintroduced, but gay rights organisations said they believed the bill was dead for this year.

Previously:

In March 1997, the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil has declared war on a gay partnership measure moving through parliament [R1.2].

In December 1996, the special commission drafting Brazil's same-sex partnership bill sent the final measure to Congress [R1.1].

See also: 4. Courts & Tribunals

2.

State

On 31 October 2015, SBSnews reported that early in October, Rio de Janeiro notary Fernanda de Freitas Leitao witnessed the civil union oaths of three women - a businesswoman and a dentist who are both 32 and a 34-year-old office manager - who have been together for three years [R2.5].

In May/June 2012, Claudia do Nascimento Domingues, a notary in São Paulo, reportedly granted what she calls a “uniao poliafetiva” – her English translation of the term being “polyfidelitous union” – to three people, a man and two women, the legality of which may be questioned as Brazilian law defines marriage as being between two people [R2.4].


In 2007, it was reported that Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul same-sex couples were able to enter into a civil union [R2.3] in legislation that was passed in 2004 [R2.2].


In December 2001, Public Law 2385/01, sponsored by Deputies Carlos Minc and Sergio Cabral, modified Law 285/79 by adding a paragraph to Article 29 dealing with the benefits accorded to state employees.

The law will guarantee to employees of the State of Rio de Janeiro the same rights for their same-sex partners as such, meeting the conditions of a stable union, which are established by Article 1 of Law 285/79 [R2.1].

The bill has been already passed by the Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly and will enter into force as soon as the Governor ratifies it.

3.

Cities & Towns

In August 2001, the Mayor of Recife in Pernambuco state, sent a proposal to the city's legislature which would grant same-sex partners of civil servants the same social benefits currently enjoyed by partners in heterosexual couples [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 27 June 2011, Judge Fernando Henrique Pinto in the Family Court at Jacarei, San Paulo approved the marriage of civil partners Sergio Kauffman Sousa and Luiz Andre Moresi basing his decision on the Supreme Court ruling in May [R4.2].

On 05 May 2011, the Supreme Court ruled (10–0, with one abstention) in favor of granting civil unions to gay and lesbian couples. The court decided not to legalize same-sex marriage. The lawsuit was filed by Rio state governor Sergio Cabral, who wanted to grant partnership rights and benefits to all state employees [R4.1].

R1.4 GayStarNews: Brazil takes first steps to legalizing gay marriage 25 MAY 12
R1.3 B.NewS: No Reform in Brazil 16 AUG 01
R1.2 Capital Q: Catholic Bishops vs Gay Partners 14 MAR 97
R1.1 Melbourne Star Observer: Break-Through in Brazil 13 DEC 96
R2.5 SBSnews: Polyamory wedding: Brazilian female trio get hitched 31 OCT 15
R2.4 Xtra!: Brazilian notary registers trio as civil union 11 SEP 12
R2.3 bnews: Making A Commitment 03 MAY 08
R2.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Brazil's President Backs Same-sex Unions 19 SEP 08
PinkNews.co.uk: Uruguay's First Gay Union, Four Months After They Became Legal 21 APR 08
R2.1 IGLHRC Action Alert: Brazil: Support Partnership Rights for State Employees 14 DEC 01
R3.1 IGLHRC Action Alert Mayor Proposes Same-Sex Partner Benefits 17 AUG 01
R4.2 The Australian: Judge grants Brazil's first gay marriage 29 JUN 11
R4.1 The Advocate: Brazil Approves Civil Unions 05 MAY 11
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 25 May 2012, a senate panel that reviews the nation's penal code agreed to make discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender Brazilians punishable by the courts. The congress will have a chance to vote on it in the weeks ahead [R1.2].

On 19 February 2011, the Government launched a homophobia helpline to deal with complaints of anti-gay discrimination and violence. To access the service, Brazilians can dial 100 from any phone [R1.1.

2.

State

On 02 October, the Rio de Janeiro attorney general cancelled the anti-discrimination law that has been in-force for over 12 years, stating that it was introduced in an unconstitutional manner. On 03 October, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, as the head of the executive branch, sent a new identical anti-discrimination law for voting in the state's assembly [R2.5].


On 05 November 2001, Sao Paulo state law 10.948 was passed, penalising "attacks or discriminatory manifestations against homosexual, bisexual or transgender citizens" (Article 1). Public officers are specifically included as liable for such acts (Article 3) [R2.4].

Among the behaviors considered as such, Article 2 lists "restrictive" actions of a moral, ethical, philosophical or psychological nature".

Article 3 makes public officers liable, along with social organizations and businesses. Penalties range from a warning up to closure and fines. Public servants are also subjected to sanctions prescribed for them in the Statute for Public Servants.


In December 2001, the State Parliament of Minas Gerais, Brazil, passed Law 694/99 which prescribes penalties for business, public servants and members of the general public who discriminate against others on the grounds of their sexual orientation and includes a specific provision stating that two people of the same sex have the right to show affection in public without being subjected to harassment or discrimination [R2.3].

In November 2001, the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, passed a groundbreaking measure opposing discrimination [R2.2].

Law 694/88 adds sexual orientation as a protected status to the existing protections against discrimination.

The bill will be voted on in a second session in about 10 days and then will have to be signed by Governor Itamar Franco.


There is a constitutional prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation in the States of Alagoas (1989), Mato Grosso (1989), Pará (2006), Santa Catarina (2002), Sergipe (1989) and the Federal District [R2.1].

Discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation is prohibited in the States of Bahia (1997), Minas Gerais (2002), Paraíba (2003), Rio de Janeiro (2001), Rio Grande do Sul (2002), Santa Catarina (2003), Sao Paulo (2001) and the Federal District (2000) [R1.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

In December 2004, the mayor in southern Brazil who signed a decree barring gay people from entering his town has been indicted under antidiscrimination laws [R3.3].

In December 2003, the mayor of Bocaiuva do Sul in southern Parana state issued a decree barring homosexuals from moving to his town [R3.2].


In December 2000, the city council of Niteroi (Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil) passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public places and institutions as well as in business [R3.1].

R1.2 Forbes: Brazil Close To Outlawing Discrimination Against Gays 25 MAY 12
R1.1 PinkPaper: Brazilian government launches homophobia helpline 01 MAR 11
R2.5 GayStarNews: Brazil state of Rio annuls gay protection law 05 OCT 12
R2.4 IGLHRC: Brazil – Protest Homophobic Attack Against City Councillor 04 APR 02
R2.3 IGLHRC: Legislators Recognize Freedom to Love 20 DEC 01
R2.2 IGLHRC: Support Recognition of Freedom to Love 05 NOV 01
R2.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R3.3 The Advocate: Antigay Brazil Official Indicted 05 DEC 04
R3.2 Reuters: Brazil Mayor Bars Gays from Moving to Town 03 DEC 03
R3.1 IGLHRC: Local Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Awaits Approval by Mayor 22 DEC 00

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available
Estates. Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 10 December 2010, the Social Security Ministry issued a statement saying that the gay spouse of a retiree who dies will now be able to receive the pension payments once received by his or her companion. The policy covers formally registered workers who pay monthly social security fees [R1.2].

Previously:

In June 2000, in an action that gay groups describe as the first of its kind in Latin America, the Brazilian government has extended de facto legal recognition to same-sex relationships by granting such couples the right to inherit each other's pension and social security benefits [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In January 2002, a court in Rio de Janeiro that the lesbian partner of the late rock star Cassia Eller had the right to inherit the recording artist's wealth and copyrights [R2.2].


In February 1998, Brazil's highest court granted a gay man inheritance rights from his partner in a landmark ruling in Brazil [R2.1].

R1.2 Bloomberg Business Week: Brazil gay couples entitled to pension benefits 10 DEC 10
R1.1 Chicago Tribune Internet Edition: Brazil OKs Same-Sex Benefits Rights 10 JUN 00
R2.2 Reuters: Brazilian Rocker's Gay Partner Wins Child Custody 09 JAN 02
R2.1 Brother Sister: Inheritance Rights Grants 19 FEB 98
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 28 April 2016, embattled President Dilma Rousseff signed a decree enabling transgender and transsexual civil servants to use their chosen names while on the job. The move is likely to irritate conservative politicians [R1.4].


In January 2008, a transsexual woman and her partner lost their fight to keep their adopted baby [R1.3].


In August 1998, four military policemen in the city of Salvador (Bahia) reportedly forced two transvestite sex workers to throw themselves into the sea, after humiliating and torturing them. One of them drowned and the body was found three days later in advanced state of decomposition. The other one survived and had to go into hiding for fear of police reprisals [R1.2].


In October 1997, sex change operations were officially sanctioned in Brazil after the country's Medical Council approved a resolution allowing the operations to be performed in public hospitals [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In August 2007, a court ruled that gender reassignment surgery was covered under the constitutional provision guaranteeing medical care as a basic right [R2.1].

R1.4 EdgeMediaNetwork: Transgender Civil Servants in Brazil Can Use Chosen Name 29 APR 16
R1.3 MCV: Trans Woman Loses Son 17 JAN 08
R1.2 IGLHRC: IGLHRC Celebrates the 50th anniversary of the UDHR 10 DEC 98
R1.1 Brother Sister: Sex Change Sanctioned 02 OCT 97
R2.1 bnews: Free Brazilian 23 AUG 07
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 02 July 2013, a Bill approved by the Congressional Human Rights Commission and Minorities that would have lifted a 1999 ban on the 'treatment' of homosexuality, which was established by Brazil's Federal Psychology Council, was withdrawm [R1.2].

On 18 June 2013, the Commission for Human Rights and Minorities approved a Bill that seeks to lift a 1999 ban and allow the “treatment” of homosexuality as a disorder or pathology. The Bill has several more legislative stages to pass before becoming law [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 September 2017, it was reported that Federal Judge Waldemar Claudio de Carvalho in Brasilia overruled a 1999 resolution by the Federal Council of Psychology which prohibited the treatment of homosexuality by psychologists, ruling in favour of psychologist Rozangela Justino whose license was revoked for practising ''conversion therapy''. The Judge deemed homosexuality to be a ''disease'' [R2.1].

R1.2 PinkNews:Gay 'cure' bill withdrawn before vote in Parliament 03 JUL 13
R1.1 PinkNews: Lawmakers approve bill which would remove ban on 'gay cure' therapy 19 JUN 13
R2.1 PinkNews: Brazil legalises 'gay cure' therapy as court rules homosexuality is a disease 20 SEP 17
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT] [MILITARY]
1.

National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples was decriminalised in 1831 [R1.4], or perhaps 1823 [R1.3].


On 18 October 2010, it was reported that 198 gay murders were recorded in 2009, 187 in 2008, and 121 in 2007 and between 1980 and 2009, the Bahia Gay Group counted 3,196 murders of homosexuals in Brazil, or an average of 110 per year [R1.2].

In April 1999, the Bahia Gay Group (GGB) reported that there were 116 anti-gay murders in Brazil in 1998. Seventy-three of the victimes were gay men, 36 transvestites and 7 lesbians [R1.1].

R1.4 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.3 PinkNews.co.uk: Brazil's President Backs Same-sex Unions 19 SEP 08
R1.2 Montreal Gazette: Murders of gays soar in Brazil: Rights group 18 OCT 10
R1.1 Melbourne Star Observer: 166 Anti-Gay Murders in Brazil 16 APR 99
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 08 December 2013, one hundred thirty same-sex couples married in a mass wedding at Rio de Janeiroís Superior Court before Judge Cristina Gaulia, even though Brazilís national congress has not passed a bill legalizing gay marriage. The National Judicial Council approved same-sex marriage on 14 May 2013 [R1.3].

On 14 May 2013, the National Judiciary Council, or CNJ, approved by a vote of 14-1 a resolution amounting to de facto legalization of same-sex unions [R3.9].

In May 2002, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso announced the second edition of a comprehensive human rights plan that includes a proposal to legally recognize same-sex marriages [R1.2].

In October 2000, Congresswoman Marta Suplicy sponsored the gay partnership law which subsequently stalled in the Chamber of Deputies [R1.1].

2.

States

On 19 April 2013, Rio de Janeiro became the eleventh state to allow marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, following the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Piauí, São Paulo, Sergipe and the Federal District [R3.6].

On 18 August 2012, for the first time, same-sex couple Mario Domingos Grego and Gledson Perrone Cordeiro were registered as married in São Paulo without having to be registered first as a civil union [R2.1].

See Courts & Tribunals below.

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 21 May 2013, the Social Christian Party filed an appeal with the Supreme Court arguing that the National Judicial Council's ruling (below) was unconstitutional because Congress had not approved it [R3.10].

On 14 May 2013, the National Judicial Council approved by a vote of 14-1 a resolution saying that civil registrars will be “obligated” to convert stable unions between two people of the same sex into marriages, if that is requested, and that they will not be able to refuse to marry gay couples. Any civil registrar refusing to perform a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple could be subject to disciplinary action by the CNJ [R3.9].

On 26 April 2013, the Judicial Administrative Department (Corregedor Geral de Justiça) in Rondônia ruled to authorize marriage equality for same-sex couples, as did justices in Paraíba and Santa Catarina on 29 April 2013 [R3.8].

On 19 April 2013, Judge Valmir de Oliveira Silva, General Magistrate of Justice of Rio de Janeiro, ruled that existing legal provisions prohibiting same-sex unions were unconstitutional and in breach of the Federal Supreme Court's previous ruling on gay marriage. 15 days after a same-sex couple enters into a civil union in Rio de Janeiro, will now be considered legally married without having to apply to a court [C3.7], [R3.6].

On 18 December 2012, the Court ruled that all notaries in the State of São Paulo will be obliged to register the civil marriage of homosexuals without the need of a previous court order, effective in 60 days [R3.5].

On 10 October 2012, federal judge Ivete Caldas, signed an order ruling the Court of Bahia regulates marriage between persons of the same sex, effective 26 November 2012 [R3.4].

On 20 April 2012, the 8-judge Civil Court of Rio unanimously decided to convert the stable same-sex union of a homosexual couple living together for eight years into marriage [R3.3].

On 25 October 2011, the Federal Supreme Court ruled 4–1 that the Constitution “makes it possible for stable civil unions to become marriages”. The ruling may deter States from blocking same-sex marriage [R3.2].

On 27 June 2011, in São Paulo Judge Fernando Henrique Pinto approved the marriage of civil partners Sergio Kauffman Sousa and Luiz Andre Moresi basing his decision on the Supreme Court ruling in May [R3.1].

R1.3 EdgeOnTheNet: 130 Same-Sex Couples Tie the Knot in Brazil 09 DEC 13
R1.2 United Press International: Brazil's President Supports Gay Marriage 13 MAY 02
R1.1 Capital Q No. 415: "Vote for Rights Supporter" 13 OCT 00 page 3
R2.1 GayStarNews: São Paulo marries its first gay couple 19 AUG 12
R3.10 TimesUnion: Brazil party challenges ruling on gay marriage 21 MAY 13
R3.9 Latin American Herald Tribune: Brazilian Judiciary Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage 14 MAY 13
R3.8 SDGLN: Three more Brazilian states allowing same-sex marriage 02 MAY 13
C3.7 mixBrasil: Provision CGJ No. 25/2013 (Provimento CGJ No. 25/2013)
R3.6 LGBTQ Nation: Judge rules same-sex couples in Rio de Janeiro state can marry 19 APR 13
R3.5 Folha de S. Paulo: Court of Justice standard requires registries of São Paulo to register gay marriage (in Portugese) 19 DEC 12
R3.4 Folha de S. Paulo: Court of Bahia regulates gay marriage (in Portugese) 13 OCT 12
R3.3 Terra: Justices of Rio convert stable same-sex union into marriage (in Portugese) 20 APR 12
R3.2 Brazil high court allows gay marriage 26 OCT 11
R3.1 The Australian: Judge grants Brazil's first gay marriage 29 JUN 11
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In June 2008, a gay Brazilian army sergeant, Sgt Laci Marinho de Araujo, was taken into custody after he and his partner took part in a television interview in which they talked openly about being in a stable relationship for 10 years, and how they had been living together [R1.1].


It has been reported that military personnel who engage in gay sex can be sentenced to from six months to one year in prison.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 09 August 2013, Judge Elio Siqueira in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, has ordered Brazil's Army for the first time to recognize a same-sex civil union between a sergeant and his companion, they being entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples in terms of things such as alimony and retirement benefits because the two have been in a stable civil union for three years [R2.1].

R1.1 Brazilian Soldier Arrested After Discussing Gay Relationship 06 JUN 08
R2.1 abcNews: Brazil Army Must Recognize Same-Sex Civil Union 09 AUG 13
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 30 August 2012, the Social Security Agency reportedly granted the full allotment of four months "maternity" leave to Lucimar da Silva, a gay man in a civil partnership, who has adopted a child [R1.3].

In August 2008, Brazil's lower house of Congress rejected part of a pending adoption law that would have allowed gay couples to adopt children [R1.2].

In January 2008, a transsexual woman and her partner lost their fight to keep their adopted baby [R1.1].

2.

States

On 11 September 2014, Judge Rafael Pagnon Cunha in the Santa Maria Forum permitted a baby's birth certificate to be registered with two mothers (Fernanda Batagli Kropenscki, 26, and Santiago Mariani Guedes, 27) and a father (Luis Guilherme Barbosa Canfield, 27) [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 27 April 2010, the Fourth Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice upheld the judgment of Rio Grande do Sul that allowed the adoption of two children by a couple of women [C3.3], [R3.2].

On 30 October 2006, Judge Suely Juarez Alonso in the State of São Paulo, ruled in favour of Junior de Carvalho (46) being added to the birth certificate of Theodora (5), previously adopted by his partner Vasco Pedro da Gama (38) – the first time two men have been granted adoption rights [R3.1].

R1.3 PinkNews: Brazil: Gay father granted full "maternity" leave 30 AUG 12
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Mixed Messages on Brazilian Gay Rights 21 AUG 08
R1.1 MCV: Trans Woman Loses Son 17 JAN 08
R2.1 BBC News Latin America & Caribbean: Brazilian baby registered with three parents 13 SEP 14
C3.3 Report: Special Appeal No. 889 852 - RS (2006/0209137-4) 27 APR 10
R3.2 STJ Superior Tribunal de Justiça: STJ admits adoption of children by homosexual couples (in Portugese) 27 APR 10
R3.1 BBC News: Two Brazilian gay men adopt girl 22 NOV 06

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