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PL 504: All About The Polemic Law Project That Violates The Rights Of Brazilian LGBTQ+ Community

PL 504, proposed in August 2020 by deputy Marta Costa (PSD) at ALESP (Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo), would have had its vote on April 22 of this year, but it was postponed in order to have more discussion about it. The proposed bill aims to prohibit children’s advertising that makes reference to sexual diversity, in other words, that hint at people of the LGBTQ+ community ou homoaffective families, as it appears in the proposition: “It prohibits advertising, through any means of communication and material media, which alludes to sexual preferences and movements about sexual diversity related to children in the State.”

The deputy's justification is that advertisements of this type emotionally hurt families and can bring discomfort. She also says that children do not have the discernment to get in touch with this kind of content and that it influences the formation of them.

[bf_image id="p78w34knpgbrq7fkr6v97qc"] The way the law project is composed as a whole is really disrespectful to LBTQ+ people who are being censored from being shown in advertisements. In addition to being a form of censorship and disrespect, this potential law would be going against Article 220 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution, which states that “The manifestation of thought, creation, expression and information, in any form, process or vehicle, will not suffer any restriction, subject to the provisions of this Constitution''. If approved, advertising agencies and media outlets will have 30 days to adapt to the new rule and, if not complied with, they may receive fines and even be forced to close their establishments.

LGBTphobia in Brazil

This proposition puts LGBTQ+ people in a position of exclusion, making it seem as if they are a bad influence and an evil in society. The existence of this law project reaffirms LGBTQ+phobia is a reality in Brazil which results in violence and deaths. According to ‘Grupo Gay da Bahia’, an association that has been defendding and fighting for the human rights of homosexuals 41 years in Brazil, in 2019, every 16 hours an LGBTQ+ person died, couting 329 deaths in total that year, of which 297 were murders and 32 suicides.

Repercussion

The PL created a lot of discussions on social media and countless people and companies have reacted in opposition to the project. The Brazilian Association of Advertising Agencies (Abap) classified the proposition as unconstitutional and said that is an attempt at censorchip: “The Brazilian Association of Advertising Agencies (Abap) expresses its rejection to the Bill n° 504/2020, under analysis in the Legislative Assembly, by which it intends to impose discrimination against the freedom of commercial expression and the right to sexual orientation”, manifested in a note.

[bf_image id="q58iyv-4wtrfs-sxicq"] Others publicity agencies expressed their rejection to the bill of deputy and the hashtags #LGBTNãoÉMáInflência (LGBT is not a bad influence), #PropagandaPelaDiversidade (Advertising for diversity) and  #AbaixoPL504 (Stop PL 504) were widely publicized on social media. 

Deputy Erica Malunguinho (PSOL), who is also against the project, presented an amendment which removed the proposition from ALESP agenda, putting it back for discussion. This is a good sign because it's a way to completely eliminate it. Besides that, Erica stated on her Twitter that she will keep fighting to fully cut out the PL. 

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The article above was edited by Giulia Lozano.

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