News :: International

Brazil One Step Closer to Passing Anti-Homophobia Bill

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Dec 9, 2011
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Brazil has several rights protecting members of the LGBT community already but Brazilian legislators are coming close to approving another anti-homophobia law that would prohibit homophobia and extend protections to transgender people, reported Life Site News in a Dec. 7 article.

Those opposing the legislation claim that the new law would infringe on their freedom of speech and would prohibit them from speaking against the LGBT community and literally criminalize them.

Life Site News claims that the "text reportedly exempts the peaceful demonstration of thinking derived from faith and morality founded in the liberty of conscience, of belief, and religion."

Several Evangelical senators are against the legislation. They say that the wording is too vague and that it would compromising their rights. Marcelo Crivella, the leader of Brazil’s senate’s evangelical wing, has proposed a bill that would "protect heterosexuals from discrimination," the website reported.

Another powerful Evangelical leader in Brazil who is against gay rights is Silas Malafaia. Malafaia, who has a large following, is known for being outspoken about a number of Brazil’s social issues, including gay rights, EDGE reported in a Nov. 28 article.

"I’m the public enemy No. 1 of the gay movement in Brazil," Malafaia told the New York Times.

Despite Malafia’s wishes, Brazil has been progressive when it comes to LGBT rights. Same-sex couples have many of the same rights and protections heterosexual couples do, including marriage and adoption.

Even though the country has given several rights to LGBT members, discrimination and hate crimes still exist. EDGE reported in a Feb. 14 article an incident that involved an American author, professor and gay-rights activist who became a victim of a hate crime while spending time in Brazil. In addition, the Associated Press reported that two soldiers were arrested for shooting a 19-year-old man during Rio’s Gay Pride.

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