Brazil is a huge place with many faces to its LGBT scene scattered over thousands of miles. My trip this time included Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Iguaca Falls, Florianopolis and the city of Curitiba–more than enough for three weeks. Gay marriage was approved in June 2013.
Brazil is the fifth largest country by geographical area, occuping nearly half of South America, the fifth most populous country, and the fourth most populous democracy in the world. In 1830, Dom Pedro I signed into law the Imperial Penal Code eliminating all references to sodomy. As of 2003, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was prohibited in 73 municipal statutes, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and three state constitutions. Same-sex civil unions have been established at the state level in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. A court decision has been pending since 2005 on legalizing marriage nationwide.
Despite some positive laws, research done in 2005 found that 65% of the homosexuals interviewed in that year’s São Paulo Gay Pride Parade said that they were victims of hate speech and/or suffered physical aggression. In mid-2006, Brazil launched Brazil Against Homophobia, a campaign against homophobia within the country including TV advertisement and billboards. The first adoption in Brazil by a same-sex couple was by a lesbian couple from Rio Grande do Sul. In May 2011 Brazil’s Federal Surpeme Court ruled unanimously (10 to 0) that Civil Unions are legally acceptable relationships between adult citizens of the same gender. Read more about gay rights.