Panama Considers Broad-Sweeping Homosexual Hate Crimes, Legalization of Homosexuality

PANAMA CITY, October 7, 2005 ( – Panama’s lawmakers are considering broad-sweeping changes that would criminalize any criticism of homosexuality, and make homosexuality legal in the largely Catholic nation.

The Legislative Assembly there is considering a measure that would allow individuals to define their gender as whatever one conceives of themselves, “whether that be that of a man, a woman or of some other non-conventional way that may or may not coincide with one’s biological sex,” according to a Catholic News Agency report. In addition, sexual orientation will be determined by assessing “the gender to which one feels primarily attracted.”

Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or “gender identity” would become illegal under the new legislation. Those who “discriminate, commit stigmatizing acts against, physically or verbally abuse, publicly dishonour directly or indirectly a person or group of persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity” would be punished. Anyone who transmits such so-called discriminatory ideas or images through the media would also be liable to criminal charges.

The new law would also require the Ministry of Education to remove “all content from school programs and text books that include sexual discrimination in any form and to reinforce sexual education with clear and objective information on sexual orientation and gender identity.”


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