In a significant stride towards promoting equality and combating discrimination, Brazil’s Supreme Court has recently taken a decisive stance on the criminalization of homophobia. This ruling, celebrated by rights activists, establishes that homophobic slurs can now lead to imprisonment.

This development places homophobic hate speech on the same legal footing as racist hate speech, representing a crucial cultural step forward in a country grappling with widespread violence against the LGBTQ+ community.

To know more about the topic and to hear from the public, the online survey app Real Research launched a survey on Brazil’s criminalization of homophobia.


  • Homophobia requires a stronger implication than one to three years in prison and a fine, according to 38.74%.
  • 89.25% believe the high number of LGBTQ+ murders in Brazil will harm the tourism industry.
  • 42.88% said Brazil’s criminalization of homophobia would most likely help reduce the number of LGBTQ+ murders in Brazil.

Brazil’s Criminalization of Homophobia

On August 22, the Supreme Federal Court (STF) in Brazil ruled that homophobia is a crime. Judges had previously ruled in 2019 that homophobic hate speech is a crime, but this ruling was specific to hate speeches to the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, while this year’s ruling addressed attacks on specific individuals.

Brazil’s criminalization of homophobia and declaration as punishable much like other forms of hate speech was familiar to 45.56%, 37.21% had partial awareness, and 17.23% weren’t familiar with the topic.

Justice Edson Fachin is the lead judge on the case, and he believes that protecting LGBTQ+ citizens under the law is a constitutional imperative, which means it’s a fundamental right according to the Constitution. Other constitutionally imperative protections are human rights and freedom of speech.

A high number of respondents, 89.11%, agreed with protecting LGBTQ+ citizens under this law. In detail, 48.9% strongly agreed with this rule, and 40.21% somewhat agreed. On the other hand, 7.17% somewhat disagreed with the ruling, and only a small percentage of 3.72% strongly disagreed.

Figure 1: Views on the discrimination punishment of one to three years in prison and a fine.

In Brazil, practicing, inducing, or inciting discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, or natural origin could lead to one to three years in prison and a substantial fine. As discrimination is a serious issue and could lead to many other crimes, like murders of people of a specific race or religion, 38.74% believe that discrimination requires a stronger implication than imprisonment of one to three years and a fine. However, 35.6% stated that it’s an appropriate punishment, and 25.66% said the punishment is considered an overreaction.

Read Also: Majority of respondents (80%) were aware of the Pro-Bolsonaro Riots in Brazil

Is Brazil Safe for LGBTQ+ People?

Brazil’s criminalization of homophobia came after statistics showed that 1,741 transgender people have been murdered in the country between 2008 and 2022, with 228 murders of LGBTQ+ people in Brazil in 2022 alone.  This high number of murders is concerning to 83.13% of the people, with 48.59% seeing it as somewhat concerning and 34.54% as extremely concerning. 12.95% stated that this is slightly concerning, and 3.92% weren’t concerned at all about it.

Figure 2: Will the high number of LGBTQ+ murders in Brazil affect its tourism?

The aforementioned number of LGBTQ+ murders ranked Brazil as one of the most dangerous places in the world for transgender people, according to the rights group Transgender Europe. While Brazil is a beautiful country and is considered a tourism destination, 44.54% believed that the high number of murders would harm Brazil’s tourism industry to some extent, and 41.71% were sure of the harm. On the contrary, 9.77% said that harm is possible but would be minor, and a small number of 3.98% stated that no harm to Brazil’s tourism industry is probable.

Read Also: 81% Support Indigenous People Protesting in Brazil

Will Brazil’s Criminalization of Homophobia Reduce the Number of LGBTQ+ Murders?

In an attempt to focus on LGBT rights in Brazil, the decision to criminalize homophobia was issued.

Prison sentences for homophobic crimes would most likely help reduce the number of LGBTQ+ murders in Brazil, according to 42.88%. 27.39% weren’t so sure and stated that there’s a possibility that prison sentences could help, while 22.89% said they would definitely help. Only a small number, 6.84%, said the prison sentences would definitely not help reduce the number of LGBTQ+ murders in Brazil.

Figure 3: Prison sentences’ effectiveness in reducing the number of LGBTQ+ murders in Brazil

Brazilian politician and former president Jair Bolsonaro, a self-declared “proud homophobe,” said, “Brazilian society doesn’t like homosexuals.” Comments and statements like this from national leaders were likely to affect the level of anti-LGBTQ+ violence in their country, according to 46.66%. Meanwhile, 31.39% weren’t sure of the effect, and 21.95% said that these comments weren’t likely to affect the level of anti-LGBTQ+ violence.


Survey TitleSurvey on Brazil’s Criminalization of Homophobia
DurationSeptember 12 – Sepetember 19, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.