Release to the media and Open Letter to the Brazilian Federal Senate on the criminalization of homophobia and transphobia

Brazilian Federal Palace


Organizations and activists issue an open letter to the Brazilian Senate criticizing the retreat in face of the voting for the anti-homophobia bill.

It is unacceptable that any congresspeople in favor of human rights may want to make even more concessions as to the wording of the bill (PLC 122/06) and to the project opponents. The Human Rights Committee of the Senate must vote and pass the anti-discrimination bill (PLC 122/06) in its next session.

Contacts:


Paulo Roberto Iotti Vecchiatti
Attorney, member of GADvS
+55 11 98258 5924
paulo.riv71@gmail.com

Sergio Viula
Philosopher, teacher, member of LiHS
+55 11 9404 2582 | + 55 11 8500 5106
sviula@hotmail.com

Marcelo Gerald Colafemina
Psychologist, activist
+ 55 16 98239 6811
marcelogerald@gmail.com

Luiz Henrique Coletto
Journalist, member of LiHS
+55 21 97900 6582
luiz.media@gmail.com

Brasília, November 25th, 2013 – Organizations of the civil society and independent activists release an open letter with severe criticism of the Federal Senate for the removal of the anti-homophobia bill from the voting agenda.


Last Wednesday (20th), the voting for the anti-discrimination bill (PLC 122/06), which equates discrimination motivated by homophobia and transphobia with discrimination toward color, ethnics, national origin and religion, was removed from the agenda of the Human Rights and Participative Legislation Committee (CDH) of the Senate.


The bill has been in process in the National Congress for over a decade, and the text has continuously been the object of discussions, negotiations, public hearings and changes in its wording within these long 12 years. It is notorious that there will never be a “text of consensus”, since a small yet organized group of congresspeople, gathered in the “evangelical caucus”, publicly opposes any guarantees of citizenship and protection to the LGBT population of Brazil. The Senate needs to face its internal forces and contradictions, vote for the bill and pass it.


Besides there being similar legislation in 60 countries, including Canada, Chile, The United States, Spain, France and The United Kingdom, the soaring violence figures against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transexuals in Brazil justifies the passing of that law. Data about homophobic and transphobic violence, lethal included, are shocking. According to Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB – Gay Group of Bahia), there were 338 murders with homophobic or transphobic motivation, directly or indirectly, in 2012. In 2013, the 2nd Report on Homophobic Violence; year 2012, issued by the Federal Secretary of Human Rights, directly linked to the President’s Office, found 10 thousand violations against the LGBT population, from which 310 were homicides (in 2011, there were 278 murders).


According to attorney and activist Paulo Iotti, “It is absolutely lamentable and worrying as it has “got down on the knees” before religious fundamentalism in what concerns the LGBT population’s rights. From the standpoint of the organizations and activists who issued the letter, “It is simply unacceptable that any Congresspeople who stand for human rights in general, and for the LGBT population specifically, want to make even more concessions to religious fundamentalists on the text of this bill”.


The letter also highlights that uncountable negotiations have been made since 2006, without the bill opponents making any concrete suggestion to the text. “Congresspeople who belong to the evangelical caucus have always been contrary to any form of criminalization of homophobia and transphobia, and the Congress has never voted a single bill in favor of the LGBT population, specifically”, says philosopher and activist Sergio Viula.


To the signatories of the letter, “The Senate needs to take a stand: either it assumes itself as a defender of the LGBT population’s human rights, thus, passing such essential law for the protection of the LGBT population, or it assumes itself as homophobic and transphobic by refusing to pass that law”.


The organizations and activists who have signed the letter demand that the Senate subject the bill (PLC 122) to voting in the Human Rights Committee’s (CDH) next session, and reinforce the importance of Senator Paulo Paim’s public commitment to have the bill voted until the end of this year. We are mobilized, in tune with social movements and other sectors of society, for the criminalization of homophobia and transphobia in Brazil.


See the open letter here: http://goo.gl/EXvu5J (English) | http://goo.gl/QJT7fG (Portuguese)

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Organizations and activists issue an open letter to the Brazilian Senate criticizing the retreat in face of the voting for the anti-homophobia bill.

It is unacceptable that any congresspeople in favor of human rights may want to make even more concessions as to the wording of the bill (PLC 122/06) and to the project opponents. The Human Rights Committee of the Senate must vote and pass the anti-discrimination bill (PLC 122/06) in its next session.

Contacts:

Paulo Roberto Iotti Vecchiatti
Attorney, member of GADvS
+55 11 98258 5924
paulo.riv71@gmail.com

Sergio Viula
Philosopher, teacher, member of LiHS
+55 11 9404 2582 | + 55 11 8500 5106
sviula@hotmail.com

Marcelo Gerald Colafemina
Psychologist, activist
+ 55 16 98239 6811


marcelogerald@gmail.com

Luiz Henrique Coletto
Journalist, member of LiHS
+55 21 97900 6582
luiz.media@gmail.com

Brasília, November 25th, 2013 – Organizations of the civil society and independent activists release an open letter with severe criticism of the Federal Senate for the removal of the anti-homophobia bill from the voting agenda.

Last Wednesday (20th), the voting for the anti-discrimination bill (PLC 122/06), which equates discrimination motivated by homophobia and transphobia with discrimination toward color, ethnics, national origin and religion, was removed from the agenda of the Human Rights and Participative Legislation Committee (CDH) of the Senate.

The bill has been in process in the National Congress for over a decade, and the text has continuously been the object of discussions, negotiations, public hearings and changes in its wording within these long 12 years. It is notorious that there will never be a “text of consensus”, since a small yet organized group of congresspeople, gathered in the “evangelical caucus”, publicly opposes any guarantees of citizenship and protection to the LGBT population of Brazil. The Senate needs to face its internal forces and contradictions, vote for the bill and pass it.

Besides there being similar legislation in 60 countries, including Canada, Chile, The United States, Spain, France and The United Kingdom, the soaring violence figures against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transexuals in Brazil justifies the passing of that law. Data about homophobic and transphobic violence, lethal included, are shocking. According to Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB – Gay Group of Bahia), there were 338 murders with homophobic or transphobic motivation, directly or indirectly, in 2012. In 2013, the 2nd Report on Homophobic Violence; year 2012, issued by the Federal Secretary of Human Rights, directly linked to the President’s Office, found 10 thousand violations against the LGBT population, from which 310 were homicides (in 2011, there were 278 murders).

According to attorney and activist Paulo Iotti, “It is absolutely lamentable and worrying as it has “got down on the knees” before religious fundamentalism in what concerns the LGBT population’s rights. From the standpoint of the organizations and activists who issued the letter, “It is simply unacceptable that any Congresspeople who stand for human rights in general, and for the LGBT population specifically, want to make even more concessions to religious fundamentalists on the text of this bill”.

The letter also highlights that uncountable negotiations have been made since 2006, without the bill opponents making any concrete suggestion to the text. “Congresspeople who belong to the evangelical caucus have always been contrary to any form of criminalization of homophobia and transphobia, and the Congress has never voted a single bill in favor of the LGBT population, specifically”, says philosopher and activist Sergio Viula.

To the signatories of the letter, “The Senate needs to take a stand: either it assumes itself as a defender of the LGBT population’s human rights, thus, passing such essential law for the protection of the LGBT population, or it assumes itself as homophobic and transphobic by refusing to pass that law”.

The organizations and activists who have signed the letter demand that the Senate subject the bill (PLC 122) to voting in the Human Rights Committee’s (CDH) next session, and reinforce the importance of Senator Paulo Paim’s public commitment to have the bill voted until the end of this year. We are mobilized, in tune with social movements and other sectors of society, for the criminalization of homophobia and transphobia in Brazil.

See the open letter here: http://goo.gl/EXvu5J (English) | http://goo.gl/QJT7fG (Portuguese)

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