And *another* civil union of three registers in Brazil
This is Brazil's third união poliafetiva — a poly family becoming officially registered as a civil union — that seems to have made the news. (Here are the first and the recent second.)
This does not mean multi-marriage is legalized in Brazil. As with the previous groups, the three swore out a document at a city clerk's office saying they meet the legal criteria for a civil union, including living together long-term and intermingling finances. The statement was notarized to establish that the civil union exists. This entitles them to some marriage-like rights.
Here's the story in (to pick one of many papers) the Jornal Meio Norte: Homem oficializa união com duas mulheres em cartório no Brasil.
With a lot of help from Google Translate,
Man officializes union with two women at Brazil notary office
This would be the third time that a union of three has been notarized in Brazil along the lines of a Domestic Partnership. Eventually they hope to celebrate a marriage....
The three are from Mato Grosso but live in Jundiaí, which ensures that they can lead normal lives, work, and also think about having a baby, which "Paulinha" expects to carry within about two years.
In addition to the child, another project that the trisal [triad] plans is to write a book about this broader way of relating — which still frightens, but, they assure, can be natural, ethical, truthful, honest and loving. That's poliamor.
Recognition of their atypical romance matters, they said, not only for division of inheritance, but also so they are not excluded from the civil rights afforded to any citizens. In addition, they're already thinking of the child's record and that it include all three parents: a father and two mothers.
To register the document, Klinger explained, he wrote it out in his own hand with the personal data for Paula and Angelica. The three signed the document, which had to be validated by two witnesses. After the signatures, everything takes around 30 minutes at any city clerk's office.
If any of the three leaves the relationship, he or she is entitled to 33% of the equity. As Klinger sees it the world has changed, and many people are still frightened by this way of relating. But the diversity of family types is irreversible fact.
Read the whole article (November 29, 2015). It appeared in many other outlets; for example on the news site Terra.com.br, as Poliamor: homem e 2 mulheres registram em cartório união a 3 (Nov. 24).
Here's the family's own Marriage of 3 (Casala3) Facebook page: Poliamor "Trisal" Angélica, Paulinha & Klinger. They explain (again with thanks to Google Translate):
Hi lovelies! We're here to show our day-to-day and to demystify a relationship of three, and to take questions from all you guys. We have already done some interviews with academics, newspapers and TV. Showing the form of love called polyamory in our everyday lives.
They and other polyfolks appeared two weeks earlier on Globo TV on September 30th, in a documentary series called Amores Livres (Free Loves); the episode is titled Amores Múltiplos (season 1 episode 9, 22 minutes). You can watch the whole episode on their Facebook page here, or watch the trailer below:
● Two weeks after that TV appearance, they were in Rio de Janeiro's O Dia: Homem namora duas mulheres: 'Ela quis outra pessoa na relação. Eu aceitei' (Oct. 16; also printed in Tribuna da Bahia and probably elsewhere.) This was still before they got their union registered. The article tells how they met and fell for each other.
● In Belém's Diário do Pará, "Trisal" mostra em página como é casamento a três (Nov. 21).
● In another news chain, Relacionamento a três: união de "trisal" é reconhecida por lei (Nov. 24).
● Lots more about the three. Love their attitude!
Update, December 16: The legal status of these documents has not yet been tested in Brazilian courts. Daniel Cardoso, a longtime polyactivist in Portugal, offers this assessment of what they may actually mean:
My understanding is that through the legal paths [the triads] chose, anything against which there is no law can be lawfully notarized. So, the public notaries have been using the ruling that the [Brazilian] Supreme Court made on same-sex unions to contend that Stable Polyaffectionate Unions (that's the best translation I can come up with) are equally encompassed and deserving of specific familial rights.
Now, some things you can already regulate without any fancy human-rights issues - three or more people could establish a commercial relationship that involved sharing costs, property, etc. Some of these can be considered "marriage-like".
What these documents are trying to do is to lawfully assert that they form a family, a stable union. Since there is no law against that, they may assert it freely and see it notarized. This is *not* the same as filing an application for a civil union, because in the case of a civil union you're asking the State to recognize that you fit into a State-created category, and the State ascertains that you do when the application is approved.
Things like social-security provisions and so on are *not* at the moment encompassed in any way.
What's basically happening, as far as I understand it, is that they're working to take advantage of a void in the legislation to set up the basis for future judicial [paths] to get their rights recognized. So, yes, in a way they HOPE those documents will grant them those rights that they, themselves, cannot reclaim (social security, parenting rights, fiscal framings), by having proof that they have a claim at being considered a family. But there is *no jurisprudence* whatsoever on this, and the Supreme Court, if eventually pressed for a decision (like them wanting to have parenting rights over one child, or wanting to file their taxes all together as a non-commercial entity), might or might not decide that they are, indeed, a 'civil union'. At this moment in time, the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex (mono) families are civil unions, but has not ruled on this.
Again - I am not a lawyer and not a Brazilian, so some of the details might be off or unclear, but from my hours of reading and talking, this is what I get out of it.
So, technically, the fact that they have this notarized should, for instance, grant them rights to deal with social security as a family unit - meaning, that two people who did this exact same thing would see those rights recognized without any issue. Whether those rights will actually be recognized is still up in the air.