Brazilian couples rush to marry en masse before new year threat to gay marriage from new president Jair Bolsonaro

A wedding ceremony is usually a joyous union under the eyes of the law - but for 40 couples rushing to marry on the same day in Brazil it represented "an act of resistance".

The eager 80 tied the knot en masse in Sao Paolo on Saturday a few weeks before President-elect Jair Bolsonaro gets to power on the first day of 2019.

Mr Bolsonaro, who told Playboy magazine in 2011 he "would be incapable of loving a homosexual son", opposes many LGBT and women's rights.

Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro salutes during a recent ceremony officially confirming the presidential elections results. Credit: AP

The same-sex couples exchanging vows at Casa1, a non-governmental organisation that supports struggling LGBT youths, said they wanted to send a message.

"It is an act of resistance. We obviously love each other, but today we are committing a political act," said Lucas Nascimento, who stood next to his newly wedded husband, Felipe Lima.

"We want to show the world that we don't condone the ideas that the newly elected president uses to preach to his supporters."

Luana Hansen, right, and her partner Glaucia Figueiredo, share a kiss on the day they exchanged vows. Credit: AP

Some of the couples said they had planning to get married anyway, but had rushed to take the vows before the end of the year.

Mr Bolsonaro, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 1, has attracted worldwide criticism for his controversial views.

He is the latest of several leaders around the globe to gain prominence by mixing tough, often violent talk with hard-right positions.

Several Brazilian heavyweights came out against him, arguing that he was a direct risk to the world’s fourth largest democracy, but he prevailed in the vote in late October.