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Supreme Court rules homophobia punishable by prison: Brazil

23/08/2023

Supreme Court rules homophobia punishable by prison: BrazilBrazil's Supreme Court ruled that homophobic slurs are now punishable by prison, with the rampant violence against the LGBTQ community.

by Agence France-Presse

23-08-2023 07:30

in LGBTQIA

(FILES) Brazilian National Congress is seen illuminated with the colors of the LGBT flag on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, in Brasilia, May 17, 2022. Brazil's Supreme Court ruled on August 21, 2023, by a large majority that homophobic insults will henceforth be punishable by prison sentences, in the same way as racial slurs, in a country hard hit by violence against the LGBT community. (Photo by Sergio Lima / AFP)

Brazil's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that homophobic slurs are now punishable by prison, in a decision applauded by rights activists in a country with rampant violence against the LGBTQ community.

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The 9-1 ruling puts homophobic hate speech on the same legal level as racist hate speech, which was already punishable by prison in Brazil.

Justice Edson Fachin, the lead judge on the case, said in his ruling it was a constitutional imperative to give LGBTQ citizens equal protection under the law.

ALSO READ | Spain, Brazil to play anti-racism friendly in Madrid after Vinicius abuse

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The court had ruled in 2019 that homophobia was a crime, just like racism.

But the earlier decision applied to slurs against the LGBTQ community as a whole, not attacks on specific individuals.

Rights group ABGLT brought the case to extend the legal protections further.

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ALSO READ | Catholic Church ponders women's roles to LGBTQ inclusion

Hate speech is punishable by prison terms of two to five years in Brazil.

Victory against LGBT-phobia, transgender lawmaker Erika Hilton posted on social media, celebrating the ruling.

ALSO READ | Eswatini Supreme Court hears LGBTIQ group's registration case

Rights groups registered 228 murders of LGBTQ people in Brazil last year.

The country of 203 million people is the deadliest in the world for trans people, according to the rights group Transgender Europe, with 1,741 murdered from 2008 to 2022.

Agence France-Presse

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