2 November 2015
Over in Brazil the term "Three's a crowd" apparently have no real meaning. Three out and proud women have defied deeply conservative trends in Brazil's Congress and wider traditional norms by celebrating a poly-amorous civil union.
The happy trio, who, according to media reports, have shared a bed for years and say they want to raise a child, took an oath of love in early October in the presence of Rio de Janeiro notary public Fernanda de Freitas Leitao.
"This union is not just symbolic," because it defines "how they intend to have children," attorney Leitao said.
The lovers - a businesswomen, a dentist and an office manager - all in their thirties, have been together for three years and wish to remain anonymous. Despite salacious media speculation about their supposed love life, they are in fact shy, their lawyer said.
The union is not a formal marriage, because under Brazilian law that would be bigamy. Neither are they automatically allowed to declare joint income or join a healthcare plan for spouses.
But the civil union is still a big step, according to their lawyer.
"If they seek these rights before a court, they could obtain them - and I think they will," Leitao said.
They also have a better chance now of making good on their plan to create a three-parent family, Leitao said.
"Our union is the fruit of love," one of the trio told Brazil's daily O Globo.
"We are preparing for my pregnancy.... The legalisation is a way for the baby and for us to not end up abandoned and penniless. We want to enjoy the same maternal rights that everyone else has."
Brazil, the world's most populous Catholic country with a growing Evangelical population, is full of contradictions, including a permissive view of sexual relations typified by the famous tiny Brazilian bikini.
Meanwhile, in Brazil's Congress, (one of the most socially conservative in Brazil's history) legislators are currently debating an anti-gay type measure that defines a "family" as the union between a man and a woman, as dictated by Catholic Doctrine.