Same-sex marriages in Brazil up 149% in nine years

The 59,620 unions reach 0.6% of all marriages 2013–2021

Published on 28/12/2023 - 13:05 By Daniella Almeida - Brasília

Brazil registered 59,620 same-sex marriages from 2013 to 2021. The data come from the National Human Rights Observatory (ObservaDH), managed by the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship, and the survey is based on information from the statistics bureau IBGE.

The number represents a surge of 148.7 percent in nine years, with 3,700 records in 2013 and 9,202 in 2021. The biggest annual rise occurred from 2017 to 2018 (61.7%).

The 59,620 same-sex unions recorded in this time span correspond to 0.6 percent of all marriages across Brazil. The percentage climbed from 0.4 percent in 2013 to one percent in 2021. In 2021, 738 municipalities registered unions between men and 1,004 between women.

In a statement, the ministry’s National Secretary for the Rights of LGBTQIA+ People, Symmy Larrat, argues that the data indicate that legal protection for same-sex couples is vital for a fairer and more equal Brazil. “Fairness and the guarantee of rights concern everyone,” she declared.

In the period surveyed, most same-sex marriages (57.1%) were between women.

Age

IBGE did not record any same-sex marriages with spouses under the age of 15 between 2013 and 2021. However, in heterosexual couples, 1,988 unions of girls and 158 marriages of boys under the age of 15 were recorded in the same period. In Brazil, marriage under the age of 16 is prohibited.

Income and schooling

In general, lesbians and gays reported having the highest per capita household incomes: 12 percent reported a household income of more than five minimum wages per person, while five percent of bisexuals achieved this income and six percent of heterosexuals.

Regarding education, bisexuals, lesbians, and gays reported higher levels of education than heterosexuals.

Legislation

In May 2011, Brazil's Supreme Court made a unanimous decision recognizing that same-sex couples form a family nucleus with the same rights and duties as heterosexuals, which in practice forced registry offices in Brazil to register same-sex marriages.

However, in October this year, the lower house Committee on Welfare, Children, Adolescents, and the Family approved a bill banning same-sex unions. Representative and Pastor Eurico, rapporteur in the case, issued a favorable opinion. The move has sparked protests from various NGOs and the LGBTQIA+ community, who consider it unconstitutional because it violates the principle of equality enshrined in the Constitution.

The bill is currently awaiting the opinion of the lower house Commission on Human Rights, Minorities, and Racial Equality.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Aline Leal

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