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Brazil State Makes Homophobia Criminal Offence
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
April 23, 2003
11:58 a.m. ET/+5GMT/-3PT
(Sao Paulo, Brazil) Brazil's Santa Catarina state has passed legislation to fine businesses that discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals or the transgendered.
"Any aggressive or discriminatory act against any homosexual, bisexual or transgender citizen will be punished accordingly with the law," said Santa Catarina's governor as he signed the legislation.
Under the new law a first offense would bring a warning, but any subsequent action would be heavily fined. Penalties range from $300 for a second offence to $1000 for a third conviction—a considerable sum in Brazil. In the case of further incidences, the offender would face the permanent seizure of his operating license.
Similar anti-discrimination laws are already in effect in Sao Paulo, the country's largest state, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais.
Since adopting a liberal constitution in 1988, Brazil has been one of the most progressive countries for gay rights in Latin America.
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