Brazil’s Supreme Court rules anti-homosexual slurs are punishable by prison

gavel Credit: Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock

By a vote of 9-1, Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF) this week equated slurs against “LGBTQIAPN+ people with the crime of racial slurs.” 

The decision was made Aug. 21 in a virtual session and responded to a case brought in 2019 by the Brazilian Association of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites, Transsexuals, and Intersex (ABGLT).

With this decision by the STF, transphobia and homophobia will be punished with sentences of two to five years of imprisonment in addition to the payment of a fine. The penalty can be doubled if the crime is committed by two or more people.

According to the rapporteur for the case, Justice Edson Fachin, since the Supreme Court recognized in 2019 that discrimination against LGBTQIAPN+ people constitutes racism, the practice of homo- or transphobia can constitute a crime of racial slurs.

“The interpretation that restricts its application to cases of racism” leaving unprotected individuals from the LGBTQIAPN+ community “goes against not only the appealed judgment but the entire constitutional system,” Fachin said.

This decision complies with Law 14.532/2023 passed by Congress and signed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Jan. 11, which classifies racial slurs as a crime of racism.

This story was first published by ACI Digital, CNA’s Portuguese-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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