Brazil high court rules homophobia punishable by prison

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08/23/2023

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. The nine-to-one 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. 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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