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STF suspends decision allowing seizure of books at Rio de Janeiro's Biennial

The Supreme Federal Court's (STF) Chief justice, Dias Toffoli, accepted a request from the General Attorney's Office (PGR) and suspended a decision of the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro (TJRJ) that allowed the seizure of books dealing with the homotransexuality theme at the Book Biennial, which ends today (8), in Rio de Janeiro (RJ).

The Justice found it a violation of the public and legal order, which justifies the decision in the Preliminary Suspension (SL) 1248, presented this Sunday by the General Attorney of the Republic, Raquel Dodge. In the lawsuit, the author states that the questioned decision "directly hurts equality, freedom of artistic expression and the right to information".

The City of Rio de Janeiro had notified the Biennial's organization that books on the subject of homosexuality, sold without sealed packaging and warning about the content, could be seized, also warning about the risk of withdrawal of the license for the book fair realization. In the SL filed with the Supreme Court, the PGR claims that “the act of the Rio de Janeiro's City Hall frontally discriminates against people due their sexual orientation and gender identity by determining the use of sealed packaging only for works dealing with the theme of homotransexualism” .

In his decision, theChief Justice of the Supreme Court pointed out that the contested decision, by stating that homosexual content in children's publications would require prior indication of their substance, “ended up assimilating homosexual relationships with inappropriate ou unsuitable content for childrens or teenagers, violating, at the same time, the strict legality and the principle of equality, in a disposition that - under the alleged protection of children and adolescents - has placed itself in the subtle trap of the distinction between protection and prejudice ”.

Toffoli also recalled the STF's jurisprudence that gives to the civil union of same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, based on the constitutional principle that prohibits any discrimination on grounds of sex, race or color.

The Chief justice also stressed that the democratic regime presupposes an environment of free transit of ideas, in which everyone has the right to speak up.

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