Six of the Supreme Federal Tribunal’s 11 judges had already voted in favor of the measure in late May, giving the ruling a majority. The final justices voted Thursday for a tally of eight votes for and three against.
Racism was made a crime in Brazil in 1989 with prison sentences of up to five years. The court’s judges ruled that homophobia should be framed within the racism law until the country’s congress approves legislation specifically dealing with LGBT discrimination.
The court’s judges have said the ruling was to address an omission that had left the LGBT community legally unprotected.
“In a discriminatory society like the one we live in, the homosexual is different and the transsexual is different. Every preconception is violence, but some impose more suffering than others,” said justice Carmen Lucia.