A Brazilian court in Acre has fined three neighbors for an insult against a homosexual who walked in their street. Among the offensive words, the homosexual was called “fag.” The court in Rio Branco, Acre’s capital city, ordered the three neighbors to pay US$1,500 each, as reported by Globo, the main news channel in Brazil. The court decision was issued June 14.
Strangely, Globo left out the name of the alleged homosexual victim and his verbal aggressors. Globo called their verbal “aggression” “homophobia.”
People in Acre have a very hard time to pay to pay US$1,500. Acre is one of the poorest states in Brazil with 0,59% of the national GDP. Even though progress and modern infrastructure have not reached Acre, hate crimes laws have already reached it.
By the Brazilian system, states can apply only fines when there is no federal law on an alleged crime. When there is a federal law, states can apply fines and prison.
As a conservative Brazilian and especially as an evangelical Christian, I oppose name-calling. But considering that homosexual activists see the Bible passages condemning their immoral sexual practices as “offensive,” what would hinder them from suing ministers, priests and other Christians for merely quoting such passages?
Brazilian culture, which is profoundly syncretic Catholic, is fond of foul language. Everybody in Brazil, without exception, is a victim of name-calling. Even homosexuals call other homosexuals “fags.” In fact, homosexuals are one of the most foul-mouthed groups in Brazil.
So why apply a different legal scale only when homosexuals feel offended?
Portuguese version of this article: Vizinhos são obrigados a pagar R$ 15 mil por chamarem homossexual de “veado”
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