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Brazil’s top court votes to make homophobia and transphobia a crime

Brazil’s top court votes to make homophobia and transphobia a crime

Man in rainbow headdress with woman kissing him on the cheek

Brazil’s top court voted to make homophobia and transphobia illegal under the country’s constitution.

Six out of 11 Supreme Federal Tribunal judges voted in favor of the new legislation, claiming the majority. The remaining five ministers will be able to cast their vote on 5 June.

Anyone who discriminates, offends or assaults someone because of their sexual orientation will be subject to the same penalties as the crime of racism — three years and a fine.

The final result could water down the new ruling in favor of religious exemptions.

It comes about as Brazilian rights groups Associação Brasileira de Lésbicas, Gays, Bissexuais, Travestis, Transexuais e Intersexos (ABGLT) and Grupo de Advogados pela Diversidade Sexual e de Gênero (GADVS) asked the court to acknowledge Congress’ failure to criminalize violence against gay people as ‘unconstitutional’.

Four out of the 11 judges on Brazil’s top court already ruled in favor of criminalizing homophobia and transphobia in Febraury. But proceedings ran over time so remaining votes couldn’t go ahead, until today.

Brazilian gay politician David Miranda tweeted: ‘We cannot close our eyes to so many of us who are raped and die everyday.’

President of Mothers for Diversity, Majú Giorgi, tweeted: ‘When a person is threatened by the simple reason for being, there is not a full existence but a daily resistance.’

She then added: ‘It takes laws to guarantee the rights of these people.’

Brazil’s anti-LGBTI president

A recent study released last week found Brazil registered 141 murders of LGBTI people so far in 2019.

Brazil elected homophobic politician Jair Bolsonaro as president on 1 January this year.

Known for his far-right policies and anti-LGBTI, misogynistic, and racist comments, some people call Bolsonaro ‘the Trump of the Tropics’.

LGBTI activists have warned Bolsonaro will usher in a new wave of terror for Brazil’s LGBTI community.

Many LGBTI Brazilians who said they were fearful for their rights and safety under the rule of the openly homophobic Bolsonaro.

Prior to the presidency, Brazil saw a spate of same-sex weddings, as same-sex couples rushed to marry before Bolsonaro took office.

Though same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013, many LGBTI people worry that Bolsonaro might begin rescinding LGBTI rights during his presidency.

Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration as Brazil’s 42nd president | Photo: Twitter/@jairbolsonaro

2018 was one of the deadliest years for Brazil’s LGBTI community.

In September, Brazilian LGBTI rights group reported more than 300 LGBTI people have been murdered in Brazil in 2018. Importantly, that’s from 220 by the same time the previous year.

‘I would be incapable of loving a homosexual child’ Bolsonaro once said.

‘If your son starts acting a little gay, hit him with some leather, and he’ll change his behavior’ he also said.

See also

5 sickening anti-gay rants by Brazil’s new far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro everyone should read 

Brazil’s same-sex couples rush to marry before Bolsonaro presidency 

Brazilian soccer club ‘regrets’ fans’ chant: ‘Bolsonaro will kill the queers’