In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a notary has approved a civil union between one man and two women, to the outrage of religious groups:
Public Notary Claudia do Nascimento Domingues has said the man and two women should be entitled to family rights.
She says there is nothing in law to prevent such an arrangement. …
But lawyer Regina Beatriz Tavares da Silva told the BBC it was “absurd and totally illegal”, and “something completely unacceptable which goes against Brazilian values and morals”.
Ms da Silva, who is president of the Commission for the Rights of the Family within the Institute of Lawyers, says the union will not be allowed to remain in place.
Some religious groups have also voiced criticism of the move.
It’s amusing to see people rushing to the defense of a certain narrow interpretation of civil unions, much like how they’ve tried to “defend” marriage from LGBT people who want to get married. The key difference, which makes such efforts even more absurd, is that civil unions are a completely new legal invention intended to keep gay people out of the institution of marriage. There is no tradition or history behind them, so there’s no traditional or historical concept of “civil unions” for people to defend. They’ve only been available in Brazil for 8 years. Is that really long enough for Brazilians to have developed lasting, concrete and coherent “values and morals” pertaining to civil unions, values and morals which must be protected and upheld? I highly doubt it. Civil unions do not come with the same esteem and universal recognition as marriage, precisely because of their recent creation in what was purely an act of discrimination.
Really, if you’re going to create a new legal category to segregate families which don’t consist of one (legally recognized) man and one (legally recognized) woman, how can you be surprised when that category includes families that don’t consist of one man and one woman? If you didn’t want these commitments to be recognized as marriages, then why insist they must maintain some degree of resemblance to your ideal of marriage? By all means, keep pretending that secular, legal marriage is the exclusive property of your religion and must be protected by ensuring that it exactly matches your particular faith’s concept of marriage. Such a claim can be handily dispatched on its own. But if that’s the line of argument you choose to pursue, you don’t get to pretend that your religion also owns the new “marriage-lite” that was created to divert the unworthy from your precious institution.