AP Explains: The rocky rise of LGBT rights in Latin America

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06/13/2019

Despite a dark past, today many LGBT citizens in Latin America are enjoying the right to marry, choose their gender identity and adopt children. But while laws in several of the region’s biggest countries are changing that doesn’t necessarily translate into a broader societal shift toward acceptance. Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court ruled Thursday that sexual orientation and gender identity should be included in the nation’s anti-discrimination law, providing a new layer of protection for LGBT people. The decision comes at a sensitive moment in Brazil’s history: Leading the country is a president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has openly expressed his disdain for same-sex couples, going so far as to say he’d prefer to have a dead son than a gay one. Studies of homicide reports indicate Brazil is the most dangerous place in the world to be transgender. Experts say Latin America needs to address long-standing cultural biases, racial and income inequality in order to make the region safer for LGBT people. Here’s a look at how far Latin America has advanced in protecting gay and transgender rights and what gaps in equality remain.

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