Brazil's supreme court recognizes gay partnerships

May 6, 2011 03:49

BRASILIA - Brazil's Federal Supreme Court on Thursday legally recognized homosexual partnerships in a landmark case for gay rights in a country with the world's largest population of Roman Catholics.

Justices at the STF, as the country's top court is known, voted 10 to zero in favor of gay partnerships, setting a legal precedent in Latin America's largest country. One justice, Jose Antonio Dias Toffoli, refrained from voting, saying he had dealt previously with related cases.

The decision grants gay couples most of the rights enjoyed by heterosexual partners, including pension benefits, inheritance and, some lawyers say, possibly the right to adopt children. Lower courts had ruled both in favor of and against partnerships, which are not governed by a specific law.

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