Brazil’s lower house of Congress has rejected part of a pending adoption law that would have allowed gay couples to adopt children.

A Wednesday statement from the Chamber of Deputies says a measure giving gay couples the right to adopt was withdrawn because federal law doesn’t recognize same-sex civil unions.

A proposal granting same-sex couples the same rights as married heterosexuals has stalled in Brazil’s Congress for more than 10 years, prompting some states to take their own actions.

Southern Rio Grande do Sul state has permitted same-sex civil unions since 2004, and a Sao Paulo state court allowed a gay couple to adopt a 5-year-old girl in late 2006.
The current adoption bill now returns to Brazil’s Senate for further debate.

This may come as a surprise to many as four out of five candidates running for mayor of the important Brazilian city of Salvador committed their support for gay rights in answers to a questionnaire from gay groups, A Tarde reports.

No previous mayor of the city, which is capital of the eastern Brazilian state of Bahia, has pushed through gay rights measures or appointed openly gay city officials.

In the area of education, all four backed age-appropriate sex education with positive discussion of homosexuality and the human rights of GLBT people, as well as stocking municipal libraries with books with accurate scientific and literary information about homosexuality.