By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
BRASILIA, Brazil, May 7, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Brazilian Supreme Federal Tribunal, the nation's highest court, has approved the adoption of two children by the lesbian sex partner of the woman who had originally adopted them, according to local and international news reports.
In a decision that the justices themselves reportedly regard as "historic," the court rejected an appeal by the attorney general (fiscal) of the state of Rio Grande do Sul to remove the two girls from the custody of the couple.
The attorney general's counsel reportedly argued that a couple must be legally married or have a demonstrably stable union in order to adopt, and said that a homosexual relationship can only be a "de facto" union.
However, the court, which is increasingly dominated by jurists appointed by Brazil's homosexualist president Luiz Lula da Silva, ruled in favor of the lesbians, claiming that the adoption would be in the interest of the two girls.
The decision was supported by Lula's Federal Public Ministry, the nation's prosecutorial wing.
Although the ruling does not require states to allow homosexual adoption, it is viewed as a precedent that is likely to be cited in future cases to support the practice of giving children to homosexual couples.
However, despite the novelty of the ruling, Luiz Felipe Brasil Santos, one of the justices who made the decision, denies that the court is legislating from the bench.
"We are not invading the legislative sphere. We aren't legislating," he said.