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It was a sad day on Oct. 28 when far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro — a man who opposes gay marriage, has said he’d “rather have a dead son over a gay son” and has argued for military intervention into the Brazilian government — was elected the country’s new president. Now, though marriage equality came to the South American nation in 2011, Brazil’s LGBTQ community is worried same-sex marriages sit on shaky ground. Because of that, it’s being reported that gay marriages in Brazil are currently on the rise before Bolsonaro’s Jan. 1 inauguration date.
Latino-American magazine Al Día spoke with locals about the rise in gay marriages in Brazil. Multiple couples have ditched their intentions of well-planned ceremonies in favor of immediate marriages, fearing a reduction in LGBT rights is on its way to Brazil. One woman, a designer named Wellington Pereti, says about herself and her partner, “We’ve lived together for eight years, but we never made it official. We own a house, a car and a bank account together, and we can lose everything we’ve earned over these eight years.”
A decision by Brazil’s supreme court in 2011 made gay marriages in Brazil permissible, and the right was later guaranteed in a 2013 resolution by the National Council of Justice. But according to a legal scholar who’s also the president of the Sex and Gender Diversity Commission of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil, that resolution isn’t legally binding and could be annulled by Brazil’s Congress.
According to the scholar, Maria Berenice Dias, there’s actually been a public recommendation that gay marriages in Brazil happen sooner than later as a precaution against the new government coming into power in 2019.
According to a notary public in São Paulo, gay marriages in Brazil this December will be four times what they have been in previous months.
Other legal experts feel the precautionary measure is premature, and that actually banning gay marriages in Brazil won’t be a simple act. A local attorney says, “There is certainly a legal insecurity about the matter, but the acceptance of gay marriage is now a social fact.”
But aside from gay marriages in Brazil, perhaps more alarming is the thought that Bolsonaro’s entry to power could bring escalated violence to Brazil. Al Día cites Brazil’s Bahia Gay Group, which says last year saw 445 people killed — at others’ hands or by suicide — due to homophobia in Brazil. That comes to one every 19 hours.