Brazil's top judicial panel has authorized notaries to begin approving same-sex marriages nationwide, AFP reports:
The National Council of Justice, which oversees the Brazilian judicial system and is headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, said government offices that issue marriage licenses had no standing to reject gay couples.
The Supreme Court "affirmed that the expression of homosexuality and homosexual affection cannot serve as a basis for discriminatory treatment, which has no support in the Constitution," said Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa on the council's website, referring to a 2011 ruling by the top court.
Barbosa also said there was no reason for the government's marriage licensing offices to wait for the Brazilian Congress to pass a law authorising same-sex marriage.
For those of you who read Portuguese or want to use a translator, here's the main article from Brazil's G1 Globo.
The decision by the NCJ can be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Several Brazilian states had already legalized same-sex marriage – Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, Espírito Santo, Bahia, Alagoas, Sergipe, Piauí, Ceará. and The Federal District, but this ruling appears to extend legal authorization to all the other states.