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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

They Are All Aiming for the Same Thing

In a time when the gay agenda is all the rage and when the American president is all set to address the nation on Gay Rights and whether the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is to be nullified and replaced with full rights for gay people in the Army, and when we think that TV shows have always reflected society, it is only natural that networks will cash in on the niche.

True to form, ABC debuted last week a TV show, Modern Families, a show with two gay dads. They are so every-day, you find it strange, already. Great news in an ever-changing world where concepts are being shifted to accommodate new lines of thinking. About time, we say.

In Brazil, especially in Rio Grande do Sul, there seems to be a shift towards an understanding that yes, gay families are okay and why should they not be allowed to adopt or be moms and dads?

If you live in Rio Grande do Sul, and you are gay, at least judicially, you can count yourself lucky for in our neck of the woods, gay relationships when founded on strong affection and geared towards building a family, are recognized by our top courts. Great, we say, because we have heard of and read about many gay relationships that have gone down the drain and, luckily, have found support in our local courts when the issue of the division of assets cropped up. And not only that, nationally, you are a foreigner and your partner Brazilian and you have proof of your relationship going back, what, years, yes, family courts will now recognize your relationship and voilà! you can get permanent resident status.

Courts do now recognize common-law, same-sex relationships, that is, if they are public anyway, and go on to determine the proper division of the assets gathered while you two were an item. So it stands to reason that notaries are busy drafting contracts between these new couples if they are to avoid those pesky legal troubles down the road. It has not always been like this, of course.

We have reached this far through hard work and campaigning and our magistrates being with their eyes open to developments the world over. Surely, we are aware that many people have been instrumental in this shift in conscience. Chiefly among those, we have a judge, Maria Berenice Dias, founding president of IBDFAM - Instituto Brasileiro de Direito de Família (The Brazilian Institute for Family Law) who, through her books and untiring efforts, Rio Grande do Sul is a state we can be proud of. Next step, marriage?

Judge Maria has written extensively about human rights and, specifically, has drawn attention to the fact that Justice should not be blind to new societal paradigms and that the concept we have of family, as the classical mom and dad, children, church and state set, may not be the reality anymore. So do the new families have a place in society?


  1. It's nice to hear about a place where differences between people are not reasons for prejudice and bigotry, but rather just treated as everyday variations in the human condition. Maybe someday, the US will be "grown up" enough to understand that simple concept. For a nation that was founded on individual freedoms, it's sad to see how our culture has evolved in 200 years. Very sad indeed. Thanks for showing me somewhere over the rainbow!

  2. I think more and more people are beginning to understand that beingay in normal and societies should now begin to accept everyone. Who are we to judge?