Six of Brazil’s 11 Supreme Court judges passed legislation to criminalize homophobic and transphobic discrimination Thursday, May 23.
What We Know…
- The remaining five judges will vote in June but no matter their vote the ruling will take effect after the votes.
- The legislation will allow individuals who have experienced discrimination based on sexuality or gender to sue.
- This legislation includes homophobia in the legislation that criminalized racism in Brazil in 1989; the Court ruled that homophobia should be included in this racism law until Congress can pass legislation to specifically define the criminal punishment for LGBT discrimination.
- President Jair Bolsonaro has been identified as a “proud homophobe,” as he has publicly and explicitly expressed hatred for the LGBT community in Brazil.
- Bolsonaro’s words have a very dangerous consequence; the Associated Press reported that 141 LGBT people have been killed in 2019 so far in Brazil, and 420 individuals were killed in 2018.
- Brazil legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 with a unanimous Supreme Court vote, granting same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples like inheritance, tax deductions and immigration. This was Brazil’s first federal legislation protecting homosexual rights.
- Brazil will be joining Switzerland, which passed legislation in 2018 criminalizing homophobic and transphobic discrimination in the form of physical or verbal violence. Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Israel and many other countries have also fully criminalized all discrimination based on sexuality.
Many hope this vote will prevent right-leaning Bolsonaro from disseminating his own homophobic ideals on Brazil.