Peruvian Congress Votes to Remove LGBT from Hate Crime Legislation

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After a heated debate extending into early Friday, politicians in Peru voted 66-29 to remove LGBT from the hate crime legislation brought into law through a Presidential Decree earlier this year.

For the first 90 days of his tenure, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the Party For Change, was granted the customary permission by Congress to tackle several of Peru’s issues via decree and took advantage of that right to extend the scope of what registers as a hate crime in the existing Peruvian Penal Code to include sexual orientation and gender identity. His decree came into effect in January of 2017.

Members of the largest party in Congress, Popular Force, whose leader narrowly lost to Kuczynksi in the last Presidential race, were joined by members of the Alliance For Progress in pushing the vote to repeal the section of the decree protecting LGBT from discrimination, persecution and incitement to hatred after claiming that the President was not assigned the power to take this step.

The topic became a controversial one after more than a million signatures were said to be added to a petition calling for the removal of the LGBT terms in the new Penal Code. A Constitutional Committee previously voted in April in favor of a repeal and sent the motion to the plenary where conservative parties hold a majority of seats.

Following Friday’s vote, Peru returns to being one of three South American countries with no anti-discrimination laws covering its LGBT population along with Paraguay and Guyana.

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