Brazil's supreme court votes to make homophobia a crime

Focused Practice

Brazil's supreme court officially made homophobia and transphobia crimes similar to racism on Thursday, with the final justices casting their votes in a ruling that comes amid fears the country's far-right administration is seeking to roll back LGBT social gains.

Six of the Supreme Federal Tribunal's 11 judges had already voted in favor of the measure in late May, giving the ruling a majority. The final justices voted Thursday for a tally of eight votes for and three against.

Racism was made 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.

The court's judges have said the ruling was to address an omission that had left the LGBT community legally unprotected.

"In a discriminatory society like the one we live in, the homosexual is different and the transsexual is different. Every preconception is violence, but some impose more suffering than others," said justice Carmen Lucia.

Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, one of the judges who voted against the measure, recognized the lack of congressional legislation on the issue but said he voted against putting homophobia inside the framework of the racism legislation because only the legislature has the power to create "types of crimes" and set punishments.

Related listings

  • High court sides with Crow tribe member in hunting dispute

    High court sides with Crow tribe member in hunting dispute

    Focused Practice 05/18/2019

    The Supreme Court is siding with a member of the Crow tribe who was fined for hunting elk in Wyoming's Bighorn National Forest.The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Clayvin Herrera. He argued that when his tribe gave up land in present-day Montana a...

  • Trump, GOP states ask appeals court to kill ‘Obamacare’

    Trump, GOP states ask appeals court to kill ‘Obamacare’

    Focused Practice 05/01/2019

    Taking a harder line on health care, the Trump administration joined a coalition of Republican-led states Wednesday in asking a federal appeals court to entirely overturn former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law — a decis...

  • Supreme Court seems inclined to retain cross on public land

    Supreme Court seems inclined to retain cross on public land

    Focused Practice 03/01/2019

    The Supreme Court seemed inclined Wednesday to rule that a 40-foot-tall cross that stands on public land in Maryland is constitutional, but shy away from a sweeping ruling.The case the justices heard arguments in is being closely watched because it i...

New York Commercial Litigation Law Firm - Woods Lonergan PLLC

Founded in 1993 by Managing Partner James F. Woods, Woods Lonergan PLLC has built a strong reputation as a resourceful and industrious firm that provides clients with clear, concise, and straightforward answers to their most challenging legal issues. Partner Lawrence R. Lonergan, who joined the firm in 2008, has been a friend and colleague to Mr. Woods for over 40 years and shares the same business philosophy. Woods Lonergan PLLC’s collective experience and expertise enables the firm to expeditiously and effectively analyze the increasing challenges clients face in an evolving business and legal world, in many instances, avoiding unnecessary time and expense to our clients. Our mission is simple: provide cutting-edge expertise and sound advice in select areas of the law for corporate and business clients. We thrive on providing each client with personalized attention, forceful representation, and a collaborative team effort that embraces collective knowledge.

Business News

Uptown Manhattan Intellectual Property Attorneys Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended numerous intellectual property disputes. >> read