The majority judges of the Supreme Court of Brazil have voted to make Homophobia a crime in the country.
Eight of 11 judges voted the thesis which called for treating homophobia a crime like racism. Racism is a crime as per the law introduced in 1989 which is punishable with imprisonment up to five years.
The court ruled that, until the National Congress issues a specific law, real or supposed homophobic and trans-phobic conduct falls within the crimes provided for in Anti Racism Law.
It observed that the concept of racism goes beyond strictly biological or phenotypic aspects and reaches the denial of the dignity and humanity of vulnerable groups.
However, the thesis clarified that the prosecution of the practice homotransfobia does not reach or restrict or limits the exercise of religious freedom. But such 'exercise' should not configure hate speech, which encourage those discrimination, hostility or violence against persons on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the thesis reads.