Forget the headlines about the World Social Forum and Brazilâ€™s effort to mediate in the diplomatic crisis between Colombia and Venezuela. This week has been a good one for thousands of gay and naturist Brazilians, along with forró lovers around the country. Plenty of announcements were made, but the jury remains open on their outcome.
On Thursday it was reported that one of Brazilâ€™s prominent lawyers, João Gilberto Gonçalves Jr, has filed papers to enable civil authorities to carry out same sex marriages. The process, he believes, will make it easier for same sex couples to receive the same rights as those in heterosexual relationships, including inheritance, insurance benefits and pensions.
Although the Catholic Church is against the proposal, Gonçalves argued that there do not appear to be any constitutional restrictions. The move, if successful, would follow the step made in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul last year, where civil unions are not recognised.
The demand followed the good news for Brazilâ€™s naturists earlier in the week. On Monday it was reported in the Estadão that the Senate will debate a law to legalise naturism when it returns to work next month. Its sponsor, congressman Fernando Gabreia, was first introduced back in 1996 and debated in the lower House four years ago. If passed the law would enable naturism to be practiced on designated beaches, campsites, hotels and other specified places.
Meanwhile for those inclined toward the sounds of the Northeast, Luiza Erundina (PSB) has presented a request to make 13 December the National Day of Forró. The date coincides with the birthday of Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento, one of the most important musicians of the genre.
While these measures may well have an impact on thousands of ordinary Braziliansâ€™ lives, many foreign observers may well be nonplussed. For those who have visited the country (usually during Carnival) and experienced its hedonistic side, the surprise will be that they are only being pushed forward now.
So that may well hold back those planning a trip to marry their long term partner in Rio or Salvador, or to seek out the nudist beaches of Brazil â€“ at least for awhile.
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