(Al Jazeera) — A majority in Brazil’s Supreme Court has voted to make homosexual and transgender discrimination a crime, like racism, a decision coming amid fears the country’s far-right president will roll back LGBT social gains.
Six of the Supreme Federal Tribunal’s 11 judges have voted in favor of the measure. The five other judges will vote in a court session on June 5, but the result will not be modified. The measure will take effect after all the justices have voted.
Racism was declared a crime in Brazil in 1989 with prison sentences of up to five years. The court’s judges ruled that “homophobia” should be framed within the racism law until the country’s Congress approves legislation specifically dealing with LGBT discrimination.
Brazil’s Senate is dealing with a bill to criminalize discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender with sentences of up to five years.