"Homophobia Law" to Impact Homilies, Seminaries

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BRASILIA, Brazil, MARCH 18, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Debate continues over so-called homophobia legislation, which seeks to criminalize anything considered a condemnation of homosexuality, including priests who speak against the practice in homilies.



Priests could face two to five years imprisonment for preaching against homosexuality. And a rector of a seminary who refuses admission to a homosexual student could face three to five years.

Thursday, Brazil's Senate declined to vote on the legislation. Instead, the senators decided to form a work group, which will organize public audiences to hear specialists on the subject.

According to ZENIT sources, a number of citizens voiced opposition to the law, motivating in part the senators to form the study group.

Specialists say the "homophobia law" would essentially imply a legal frame for religious persecution.

One source told ZENIT: "In addition to the rights established in the constitution for all people, the homosexual, by the simple fact of being homosexual, would gain privileges."

Maria das Dores Dolly Guimarães, lawyer and president of the Paulist Federation of Movements in Defense of Life, explained: "Whoever dared to criticize such behavior would be treated as a delinquent."