Brazil is on its way to becoming the 15th country to legalize marriage equality. The 15 members of the National Council of Justice voted 14 to 1 with a possibility of converting civil unions to marriages.
“The Supreme Court affirmed that the expression of homosexuality and homosexual affection cannot serve as a basis for discriminatory treatment, which has no support in the Constitution,” Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa said on the council’s website in reference to a 2011 ruling.
The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled that discrimination based on orientation was unconstitutional in 2011.
“This resolution will end the resistance of some courts, judges and notary publics,” Brazilian Institute of Family Law Vice President Maria Berenice Dias told the New York Times.
The Supreme Court will then hear the council’s decision with a possibility of an appeal.
Opposition comes from several evangelical Christian lawmakers.
“The Supreme Federal Tribunal had already shown that it was supporting minority rights by supporting gay unions,” said Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law Professor Thiago Bottino. “The council’s decision is logical, since it would not make sense to deprive people of their rights because some notary publics and judges saw things differently.”
If approved, the bill would be a nationwide ordinance. Brazilian states like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, Espírito Santo, Bahia, Alagoas, Sergipe, Piauí, and Ceara have already legalized same-sex marriages.