Brazilian judge Luis Roberto Barroso of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) has temporarily suspended a municipal law in the capital city of Palmas, Tocantins, which vetoed courses on gender and sexuality in municipal public schools. The ruling is provisional and will be discussed among the STF judges at a plenary session.
Roberto Barroso argued that the municipal law conflicted with the country's Law of Directives and Education Bases, “which stipulates the respect of liberty, the appreciation for tolerance and the link between education and social practices.”
The judge contended that “the more contact students have with different worldviews, the greater the universe of ideas of which they can develop a critical view, and transiting different settings will be more comfortable.”
He concluded that there is a relationship of cause and effect between the exposure of students to diverse content and the aptitude of education promoting their development.
The measure to veto the 2016 prohibition on gender and sexuality courses, was brought by the Attorney General Racquel Dodge. She alleged that the ban contradicted Brazil's Federal Constitution, contributing to a culture of violence perpetrated against the LGBT community.
Brazil has one of the highest murder rates of members of the LBGT community in the world.
Earlier this year, the Grupo Gay da Bahia released a report revealing that anti-LGBT crimes had increased in 10 Latin American countries, with Brazil heading the list with 958 killed in the past three years —half of them in 2017.
In 2016, 343 people were killed in crimes linked to their sexual or gender orientations, according to the GGB.