So you would think this would settle the matter. Not quite. In Brazil State courts are not bound to follow the rulings from the Supreme Court.
What this means is that if a same-sex couple is in a registered civil union (so-called “stable relationship”) they can petition the State court to have it converted into a legal marriage (which affords additional privileges, protections and responsibilities). If the State court then rejects this petition the couple can appeal their way to the Supreme court where it will be granted.
So we still can’t get married “the easy way” like our straight counterparts, but this was an important step in the right direction.
Ultimately, what is needed is for the legislature to pass a law that provides for the legal marriages of same-sex couples. That’s not such an easy feat given the powerful influence of religious institutions among legislators. But we’ll get there.
In the meantime, there is a path available to legal marriage.
NOTE: be sure to read the clarification from Denis in the comments section. He corrects me that it was not the Brazilian Supreme Court that ruled, but rather a superior appeals body one level below the Supreme Court. Thanks Denis.