Congrats Brazil! In a victory for the nation’s LGBTQ community, Brazil’s Supreme Court indicated on Thursday that it would outlaw discrimination based on sexuality or gender, making homophobia and transphobia illegal.
The decision was made by a court majority, with six out of 11 judges voting in favor of the law. The ruling asserted that Congress had acted unconstitutionally by failing to include homophobia and transphobia in its anti-discrimination statutes. While no official ruling has been made, the expected outcome is that sexuality and gender discrimination will be made illegal. This would go against the ideals of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has an extreme history of anti-LGBTQ sentiments.
“Homophobic crimes are as alarming as physical violence,” Supreme Court Vice-President Luiz Fux noted about his vote according to the BBC. He also added that the nation constantly sees “epidemic levels of homophobic violence.”
The ruling of Brazil’s Supreme Court means that any offenses that occur while the legislation is being voted on will be tried under the country’s racism law. The judges will vote on the enaction of the law on June 5th.
Brazil legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, and LGBTQ couples have even been granted the right to adopt in the nation. Last year, however, over 400 people were killed for being queer, according to gay rights group Grupo Gay da Bahia. So far this year, the country has already seen over 140 LGBTQ deaths.
“This is a day I never thought would come, especially with the president we have now,” said Afonso Nogueira, a Brazilian man who plans to marry his boyfriend this year, told the Los Angeles Times. “The threats we live with on a daily basis might finally be taken seriously. Now someone will have to do something about them. This shows that our lives matter.”
Good luck, Brazil! We’re rooting for the legislation to be voted into law.