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Peru legislature votes not to protect gays from hate crimes.

Timothy Kincaid

July 5th, 2013

El Pais

El congresista Carlos Bruce propuso en 2011 una modificación al Código Penal para que las agresiones por discriminación de orientación sexual y la identidad de género fueran castigadas con penas agravadas. El proyecto de ley estuvo en la Comisión de Justicia del Legislativo hasta hace un mes, cuando se descartó para evitar el ruido de los lobbies religiosos.

Sin embargo, la noche del jueves el Congreso votó la cuestión: 56 parlamentarios se pronunciaron en contra, entre ellos 26 del oficialista Gana Perú y 16 fujimoristas. “No pensé que la resistencia a este grupo social era tan grande. Es una muestra clara de la homofobia que existe en el Congreso, una homofobia escondida, porque ganamos el debate pero perdimos la votación”, ha declarado Bruce este viernes a EL PAÍS. Durante el debate, dos parlamentarios de confesión evangélica – uno de ellos fujimorista, Julio Rosas – fueron los más reticentes. “No había congresistas que abiertamente expresaron su discrepancia. Salvo dos evangélicos con argumentos débiles, todos los otros se pronunciaban a favor. Pero había una mayoría silenciosa que al momento de la votación se expresó (en contra), en particular la bancada de Gana Perú”, añadió Bruce.

Google Translate:

Congressman Carlos Bruce proposed in 2011 an amendment to the Criminal Code so that the assaults of discrimination sexual orientation and gender identity were punished with severe penalties. The bill was in the Legislative Judiciary Committee until a month ago, when it was discarded to avoid the noise of the religious lobbies.

However, on Thursday night Congress passed the question: 56 MPs voted against, including 26 of the ruling Gana Peru and 16 Fujimori. “I never thought that resistance to this social group was so large. It is a clear example of the homophobia that exists in Congress, hidden homophobia, because we won the debate but lost the vote, “Bruce said Friday at HOME. During the debate, two MPs of evangelical confession – one of them Fujimori, Julio Rosas – were the most reluctant. “There was Congress who openly dissented. Except for two evangelical weak arguments, all others were in favor. But there was a silent majority that when the vote was expressed (against), including the bed of Gana Peru “added Bruce.

Comments

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Mark F.
July 5th, 2013 | LINK

How is adding an extra penalty to a crime because of motivation “protecting” people? I am assuming that assault and murder is still illegal in Peru, isn’t it? I find these laws ridiculous and offensive. Why is it worse if someone beats up another person because he is gay as opposed to just randomly beating up someone for the fun of it?

Secret Advocate
July 5th, 2013 | LINK

As the Supreme Court said in Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 U.S. 476, 487-88 (1993), enhanced penalties for bias-motivated crimes are permissible “because this conduct is thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm.”

The legislature can rationally find that “bias-motivated crimes are more likely to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest. . . . The State’s desire to redress these perceived harms provides an adequate explanation for its penalty-enhancement provision over and above mere disagreement with offenders’ beliefs or biases. As Blackstone said long ago, ‘it is but reasonable that among crimes of different natures those should be most severely punished, which are the most destructive of the public safety and happiness.’ 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *16.”

The Supreme Court in Wisconsin v. Mitchell unanimously upheld the constitutionality of statutes that provide for enhanced penalties for bias-motivated crimes. Such statutes do not create criminality. Rather, they allow for more severe penalties for bias-motivated crimes because such crimes are more likely to cause more severe impacts on their victims and on society.

Dan L
July 5th, 2013 | LINK

Translation improvements (I have a degree in Spanish):

In 2011, Congressman Carlos Bruce proposed an amendment to the Criminal Code providing that assaults on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity would be punished with severe penalties. The bill was pending in the Judiciary Committee of Congress until a month ago, when it was set aside to avoid the objections of the religious lobbies.

However, on Thursday night Congress took up the question: 56 MPs voted against the amendment, including 26 of the ruling Gana Peru Party and 16 Fujimori. “I never thought that the resistance to this social group was so large. It is a clear example of the homophobia that exists in Congress, hidden homophobia, because we won the debate but lost the vote,” Bruce said Friday to the leading Spanish newspaper El Pais. During the debate, two MPs of evangelical persuasion – one of them Fujimori, Julio Rosas – were the most reluctant. “There was no congressmen who openly objected. Except for two evangelicals with weak arguments, everyone else who spoke was in favor. But there was a silent majority that voted down [the amendment], which included the benches of the Gana Peru Party,” added Bruce.

Hunter
July 6th, 2013 | LINK

Mark F.: Think of bias crimes as a form of terrorism: their effect is not only on the individual victim, but on the community to which that victim belongs.

Yuulun
July 6th, 2013 | LINK

I think that the headline is misleading. Crimes are still punished regardless of victim. They voted against adding an extra deterrent, not to remove protection.

I am of mixed feeling about Hate Crime Laws. On one hand I oppose them because I have not seen any evidence that they are an effective deterrent. They are well intentioned, but I think they’re another extension of the motivation that brings us torture (oh I’m sorry, “enhanced interrogation”) and capital punishment: the desire for vengeance. That being said, it is hard to deny that many of those who vote against HCL quite often think those uppity homos don’t deserve any help.

Hue-Man
July 6th, 2013 | LINK

These hate crimes are often outright terrorism. Think of Matthew Sheppard left to die on a fence in Wyoming. Closer to home and earlier this year, this headline made national news: Alleged Vancouver gay bashers acquitted in controversial verdict

“Two brothers have been acquitted of an alleged 2010 beating of a gay couple outside their Vancouver home despite the testimony of six people who said they were the men who did it” http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/alleged-vancouver-gay-bashers-acquitted-controversial-verdict190113

Lesbian and gay couples know that they too can be terrorized outside their own apartment and the courts may not convict, even with video and 6 eyewitnesses…

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