Three-person civil partnership causes outrage in Brazil
A civil partnership consisting of three people in Tupa, Brazil has sparked controversy, with a lawyer describing it as ‘absurd and totally illegal’.
A public notary of the state of Sao Paolo, Claudia do Nascimento Domingues, performed the ceremony, saying that she was not acting against the law.
Globo TV reported that the ceremony took place three months ago, although it has only come to public attention this week.
Ms Domingues said that there is nothing in the law to prevent her from formalising a civil partnership between three people.
‘We are only recognising what has always existed. We are not inventing anything’.
She also argued that her actions simply reflected the changing conceptions of family in Brazil.
‘For better or for worse, it doesn’t matter, but what we considered a family before isn’t necessarily what we would consider a family today’.
However, others have swiftly condemned the recent formalisation of the three-person civil union.
Lawyer Regina Beatriz Tavares da Silva, has called it ‘absurd and totally illegal’ in an interview with the BBC, stating that it is ‘something that is completely unacceptable which goes against Brazilian values and morals’.
Ms da Silva, who is the president of the Commission for the Rights of the Family, has said that the union will not be permitted to stay in place.
Religious groups have also opposed Ms Domingues’ move.
Moreover, it is not clear whether any other courts, service providers or private companies would uphold the union as legal, or as conferring the rights of a civil union or marriage.
Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, commented:
‘Formalising a three-person civil union is not simply recognising other conceptions of the family. It is normalising them, making them mainstream and tacitly endorsing them.
‘Family structures matter, with one man and one woman united in marriage proven to be the best for children’s welfare.
‘Laws relating to the family also matter and the future of the healthy family is under threat from nonsensical redefinitions such as this’.