Brazil army concerned over gay hate crime bill: Report

Brazil army concerned over gay hate crime bill: Report

BRASILIA - Brazil's military has voiced concern over a bill that would penalize homophobia and discrimination against gays, suggesting it could have "undesirable effects" on the armed forces, local media reported Tuesday.

"The institution is against any form of aggression or violation of human rights," read a text from the army sent to Congress and published by Folha de Sao Paulo daily.

But the statement went on to protest what the army sees as "ambiguities in the proposal as presented (...) which could have undesirable effects on the Force."

The bill was presented to Congress last year and is now up for debate. It would criminalize acts of "hate and intolerance," including those based on a person's sexual orientation, and also penalize discrimination in the workplace.

AFP was unable to confirm Folha's account while Congressmen involved in drawing up the text said they had not received the army statement and could therefore not comment.

The army also did not comment on the report.

According to Folha, the military fears that bringing homosexuality among troops into the open rather than maintaining a 'don't ask, don't tell' attitude could "reflect negatively" on the force and have "serious repercussions in the operational, disciplinary, administrative and educational spheres."

According to Folha, the statement was signed off by advisors of outgoing head of the armed forces General Enzo Peri, who is due to retire next month.

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