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SAO PAULO — Brazil’s high court ruled that same-sex civil unions must be recognized, a decision welcomed as a watershed by gay activists who also hope it will cool rising violence against homosexuals in Latin America’s most populous nation.
The ruling, however, stopped short of legalizing gay marriage in Brazil, which has more Roman Catholics than any other country. The Catholic Church fought the measure.
In a vote late Thursday, all but one of the 11 Supreme Court justices backed civil union rights for same-sex couple. One justice abstained.
The online survey relied heavily on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and it was conducted from March 10 through April 10. During this period, 953 consumers responded to the question: “If all travel restrictions are lifted, how interested would you be in traveling to Cuba?”
Among respondents, 20.2% said “I’d go immediately”; 33% said “I might consider going”; 21.8% said “I would go as soon as I believed Cuba was ready for Americans”; and 23.2% said “I have no interest in going.” The rest, almost 1.7%, said they had already been to Cuba.
In spite of new guidelines to implement loosened restrictions on travel to Cuba recently issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, most Americans are barred from visiting the Caribbean nation.
“Culturally and historically, Cuba fascinates a large number of Americans. Physically, it’s amazingly close to the Florida coast, yet so far away because of continued restrictions for most citizens,” stated Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group in a statement quoted by the Sun Sentinel newspaper on Tuesday.