If you’re in Brazil, don’t commit homophobia or transphobia; they’re now illegal.
Actually, avoidance be easy, since there are no such things as either of those. Nor is there Islamophobia, Christophobia, etc.
One of the dumbest (and lamest) things, in my view, to happen over the last 20 years or so is people tacking “-phobia” to their side in order to attempt an invalidation of any other.
A phobia is an irrational fear. Take, for example, acrophobia — the fear of heights. People who suffer, when confronted with a view of the land even a little ways below them, will lock up physiologically. Their muscles may freeze. Their heart may race. They may sweat. They may become lightheaded. Even if they’re safe, they’ll “feel” otherwise to a physically paralyzing degree.
Such does not happen, clinically, to people who disagree with or dislike Christianity.
Oddly, a real phobia is something one cannot help — which would, presumably, give it protection under the law.
As for Brazil, what exactly does their new decree criminalize?
It seems unclear.
According to the Independent, the court ruling “comes amid fears that the country’s far-right administration would roll back LGBT+ rights.”
Reuters describes it this way:
[J]ustices voted to treat homophobia in the same way as racism under Brazilian law, making it a criminal act.
Sexual orientation and gender identity are essential to human beings, to the self-determination to decide their own life and seek happiness,” Justice Gilmar Mendes said, according to the court’s Twitter account.
Those in violation could now face up to five years in prison.
As per the organization Grupo Gay da Bahia, 420 LGBT people were killed in the country in 2018. So far this year, 141 have lost their lives.
The Independent reports:
Brazil also leads the world in transgender homicides with 171 in 2017, according to the organisation Transgender Europe. Someone is killed in a homophobic attack here every 16 hours.
If these figures bolstered the decision of the court, there seems to be some fuzzy statistical logic here. Someone’s killing doesn’t denote intent. For example, if 10,000 white people were killed last year, that fails to demand they were murdered because of racism.
Are the numbers merely a reflection of the general crime rate combined with Brazil’s particular sexual and cultural makeup?
Regardless, to Justice Carmen Lucia, preconceived notions of “other” amount to violence:
“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.”
In late May, six of the nation’s eleven supreme court judges had already voted for the measure. On Thursday, remaining ballots were cast. The majority gained three more in favor.
Here’s something bizarre…and terrible:
After President Jair Bolsonaro took office on 1 January 2019, Brazil was seen to be turning sharply against LGBT+ rights and feminism.
The president has a history of homophobic, transphobic and racist remarks, having in the past bragged that he was “homophobic, and very proud” and that he’d rather have a dead son than a homosexual son.
That last bit was stated in a 2011 interview with Playboy Brazil.
That brings me back to the sexual and cultural makeup.
Whatever the case, if you’re in Brazil — the best I can figure out — don’t express any beliefs contrary to homosexuality or transgenderism. If you do, you may end up celebrating Carnival from behind bars with all the other sufferers of phobias.
If so, try to steer clear of the ablutophobics — they have an irrational fear of bathing.
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