Sao Paolo, Jun 27 : Gay pride celebrations were held in Brazil's largest city, Sao Paolo, on Sunday, as thousands of revellers braved heavy rain and marched through the streets in a carnival-like parade.
Despite the partying at the 15th edition of the gay pride celebrations, the parade has not been without controversy in relation to a law that seeks to criminalise those who promote, practice or discriminate against homosexuals in the country.
The law has currently been paralysed in the Congress by religious lobby groups.
Homophobia is a problem across Brazil, with violent incidents reported across the country.
According to advocacy groups, 260 gays, lesbians and transvestites were killed in Brazil in 2010.
They estimate that this year there have been 65 killings so far.
Reinaldo Franco, a Coordinator of Sexual Diversity Affairs at the Municipality of Sao Paulo, said the parade's goal was to build a society where "differences" are respected.
Brazil's high court ruled earlier this year that same-sex civil unions must be recognised, a decision welcomed by gay activists, who also hope it will reduce violence against homosexuals in Latin America's most populous nation.
However, Brazil's constitution defines a "family entity" as "a stable union between a man and a woman." AP