A Senate committee in Brazil is drafting legislation to criminalize homophobia ... amid public outrage over the brutal murder of 18-year-old JOÃO ANTÔNIO DONATI.
"We are introducing an urgent bill in Congress to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity," said Senator Ana Rita, who chairs the Brazilian Senate's Human Rights Committee.
She said the Senate committee was also demanding a full inquiry into the murder last week in the city of Inhumas in Goias state.
Senator Rita called on authorities in Goias state to hand over all records so as to clear up widespread reports of a cover-up.
"Situations such as these can no longer be tolerated," Rita said in a nationally broadcast statement.
"They must be thoroughly investigated and addressed by the police and the judiciary and the perpetrators of such crimes must be severely punished."
As head of the Senate's human rights committee, she added: "Prejudice and discrimination against the LGBT population is a major human rights violation in Brazil. LGBTs are victims of murder, abuse, verbal abuse, discrimination at school, at work, on the street and physical aggression."
She quoted statistics by the Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB) showing that a homosexual is killed every 36 hours in Brazil. Approximately 70% of murders of LGBT people go unpunished.
"This is a shameful and intolerable situation which is long overdue for change," Senator Rita added. "After more than 25 years of criminalization of racism and almost 10 years of criminalization of domestic violence it is high time to criminalize homophobia."
Her response followed protests and candlelight vigils in several cities Saturday and plans for a memorial service on September 17.
João's battered body was found in a vacant lot with his mouth and trachea stuffed with a plastic bag and a paper note, on which had been scrawled an anti-gay hate message saying that this is what should happen to all queers.
Reports say bruises, lacerations and contusions showed that he had put up a desperate struggle against his attackers. Police have tried to quash reports that his neck was fractured and both legs broken, saying pathology tests have not been completed.
His confessed murderer, identified as a 20-year-old fruit picker named Andrie Maycon Ferreira Da Silva, has told interrogators he had consensual sex with João but afterwards felt disgust and revulsion and wanted to teach him a lesson in manhood.
In a rambling account shown on television, he claimed he was not a murderer but was only righteously incensed by the existence of unrepentant gays like João.did not intend to kill about howa Police suggestions that the two may have been involved in "lovers' quarrel" have sparked anger in the GLBTIU community.
On the same day that João was killed, two other gays were beaten and a transvestite was murdered in the same state.Brazil has the largest Antinous faith community in the non-English speaking world, and adherents of Antinous have taken the unprecedented move of proclaiming João the first SAINT OF ANTINOUS in Brazil.
At the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, the founder of the modern religion of Antinous, ANTONIUS SUBIA, said:
"My prayer goes out to Antinous to take João Donati into his embrace, to give him a place of glory and bliss and show him that the world is not merely a place of hatred and violence, but that love still exists here.
"May his short beautiful life prove to be a changing point for Brazil, may his violent death awaken his country to the darkness and hatred that has infiltrated their society. May he be a martyr whose violent death brings an end to such things in the future."