.- The Legislative Assembly in Panama has agreed to consider a proposal that would not only penalize discrimination on the basis of homosexuality, but would also establish a series of concepts that would allow individuals to legally define themselves as homosexuals.
The measure would define gender as the perception one has of oneself, “whether that be that of a man, a woman or of some other non-conventional way that may or may not coincide with one’s biological sex.” Sexual orientation would be described as “the gender to which one feels primarily attracted.”
“Discrimination on the basis of orientation or gender identity” would be prohibited, and those who “discriminate, commit stigmatizing acts against, physically or verbally abuse, publicly dishonor directly or indirectly a person or group of persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity” would be penalized. The law would also punish the transmission through the media of ideas or images that “promote such discrimination.”
If approved the law would also order the Ministry of Education to eliminate “all content from school programs and text books that include sexual discrimination in any form and to reinforce sexual education with clear and objective information on sexual orientation and gender identity.”