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Polyamorous in Brazil


A Brazilian throuple that was joined in a civil union last October plans to fight for legal recognition of their polyamorous relationship, using the same-sex marriage struggle as a template. Though Brazil's anti-bigamy law bars the threesome from entering into a formal marriage and reaping the associated legal privileges, registering a civil union in Brazil simply requires proof that applicants share an address and bank account, plus a ceremony before a notary public.

The three women in the relationship, all in their early 30s, say they plan to start a family soon and want the same parental rights that two-parent families have.

A 2003 law in Brazil paved the way for legal recognition of same-sex civil unions. In 2011, the country's Supreme Federal Court ruled that all current marriage laws must apply equally to opposite- and same-sex couples. Fernanda de Freitas Leitao, attorney for the trio, believes that "all the principles and fundamentals" of the 2011 ruling can also be applied to polyamorous unions. She told Agence France-Presse that should her clients seek legal privileges, such as the ability to declare joint income for tax purposes or join a health insurance plan as spouses, she thinks they'll be successful.

While Brazil is a highly religious country, polyamory isn't uncommon in Brazilian pop culture. Such relationships are currently featured on two popular telenovelas and a reality TV series.