Brazil state of Rio annuls gay protection law

The attorney general of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil annulled an anti-discrimination law protecting LGBT people. Campaigners demand a new law to be introduced as soon as possible

Brazil state of Rio annuls gay protection law
05 October 2012

The attorney general of the state of Rio de Janeiro annulled a law that protected LGBT from discrimination.

The attorney general cancelled on Tuesday (2 October) anti-discrimination law that has been in-force for over 12 years, stating that it was introduced in an unconstitutional manner.

The law was introduced in 2000 by the then legislator and state deputy, Carlos Minc, who now serves as the Rio de Janeiro state minister of the environment. It was voted and passed by the state’s assembly.

The law was one of the first of its kind in Brazil and was used several times to protect LGBT people from discrimination, punishing offenders with hefty fines.

The public ministry of the state of Rio Janeiro explained that a law involving public service [i.e. protecting LGBT public servants against the discrimination from the state] cannot be introduced for voting, constitutionally, by a legislator.

It can only by proposed as a bill for a vote in the state’s assembly by the executive branch of Rio’s government.
A spokesperson told the Brazilian daily O Globo: ‘Its not that the public ministry is against the law.

But, as it was introduced illegally, the ministry could not let this procedurally continue’

The following day (3 October), the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, as the head of the executive branch, has sent a new identical anti-discrimination law for voting in the state’s assembly.

Speaking with Gay Star News, Andre Banks, Executive Director of the international movement AllOut congratulated the speedy reaction of the governor but cautioned: ‘right now LGBT people in the state of Rio have no legal protection at all, they can be lawfully discriminated against.

‘This is a very dangerous state of affairs which must be rectified at once.

‘We are very concerned of possible delays as the state assembly starts to debate the proposed bill, while LGBT may now be exposed to discrimination which we are helpless to stop.

‘We urge the government and the assembly of Rio de Janeiro to pass the law as soon as possible.’

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