Brazil's gay couples exchange vows in collective ceremony

About forty gay couples got married in downtown Sao Paulo on Saturday, tying the knot partly out of fear that the new administration of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro could restrict same sex marriage.

Although his campaign did not express views against gay marriage, Bolsonaro's record of homophobic comments has caused alarm.

In an interview with Playboy magazine in December 2011, he said that he "would be incapable of loving a homosexual son."

In May 2002, he also threatened gay people, saying that if he saw "two men kissing each other on the street" he would "beat them up."

On Saturday, dozens of people exchanged vows during a collective ceremony held at Casa1, an NGO that provides support to disadvantaged LGBT youth.

Casa1 launched a campaign a few weeks ago to hold the ceremony "in the face of the political situation" and raised almost $12,000 to cover expenses.

"It's our way of raising the flag for our rights in this new setting," said Lais Risatto, an NGO member.

Luana Hansen, 37, got married to Glaucia Figueiredo, 29, in response to the perceived threat.

"We're combining our desire to love with our desire for revolution," she said. "We don't know what Bolsonaro may do."

Future Human Rights Minister Damares Alves, a 54-year-old evangelical minister, told the O Globo newspaper in an interview on Dec. 6 that homosexual marriage is an "achieved right that is no longer up for debate."

Gay marriage has been legal in Brazil since May 2013.

Bolsonaro takes office on Jan. 1.