LGBT+ Business Climate Score

Out Leadership’s snapshot of the current state of affairs for LGBT+ people, through the lens of international business. The Business Climate Score score is out of ten possible points, and is based on ten independently verifiable indicators of the legal, cultural and business context for LGBT+ people.

7.5
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1.
Are consensual homosexual acts between adults legal?
1
Yes
2.
Are marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples available?
1
Yes
3.
Is being LGBT+ punishable by death?
0.5
No, however, LGBT+ people face endemic societal violence
4.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment prohibited?
0.5
Yes, in some municipalities
5.
Can transgender people legally change their gender markers?
1
Yes
6.
Is sex reassignment surgery at birth for intersex children prohibited?
0
No
7.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the provision of goods and services prohibited?
0.5
Yes, in some municipalities
8.
Is there a U.S. State Department warning against travel for LGBT+ individuals?
1
No
9.
Do companies sponsor Pride?
1
Yes
10.
Are there laws prohibiting freedom of assembly or speech for LGBT+ people (i.e. “anti-propaganda laws”, media gags, etc)?
1
No
Talking Points
  • 68% of Brazilian LGBT+ people experience homophobia in the workplace, reducing productivity and retention. Reviving and passing Federal Law 122/06, which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, could save Brazilian companies more than $400 million dollars.
  • Violence against LGBT+ people is endemic in Brazil. 277 LGBT+ people were murdered in Brazil in the first 9 months of 2017, according to Grupo Gay da Bahia. Meaningfully criminalizing anti-LGBT+ violence would allow me to consider locating talented LGBT+ employees in Brazil.
  • LGBT+ tourists inject billions of dollars into the economy – Rio is consistently in the top five most popular cities for LGBT+ tourists. It’s critical that Brazil ensures LGBT+ visitors feel safe and protected.
  • Based on conservative estimates that 4-6% of the population identify as LGBT+, there are 8 – 12 million LGBT+ people in Brazil. Passing federal anti-discrimination laws will ensure millions of Brazilians can participate more openly and productively in the economy.
  • New research shows 28% percent of Brazilians between 18-34 identify as LGB, representing a critical market for my company.
Talking Points
Impact of LGBT+ Discrimination on Business and Talent
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    NO RISK
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    LOW RISK
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    MODERATE RISK
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    NOTABLE RISK
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    HIGH RISK
BRAND RISK
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    MODERATE RISK
There is moderate brand risk to operating in Brazil, due to well-known levels of homophobic and transphobic violence and a lack of legal protections for the LGBT + community.
CLIENT RISK
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    LOW RISK
Brazil has taken important steps to recognize LGBT + rights in recent years, and while homophobia and transphobia remain a problem, there is little risk of an international firm losing clients because it does business in Brazil.
TALENT RISK
  • 3
    MODERATE RISK
High rates of anti-LGBT+ violence, homophobia and transphobia in Brazil and the government's continued refusal to pass anti-discrimination legislation create challenges for companies seeking to relocate LGBT+ personnel to the country.
MARKETING RISK
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    LOW RISK
Despite significant homophobia and transphobia, there appears to be little risk to marketing to the LGBT + community in Brazil. The LGBT+ market, valued in some estimates at over $100 billion, has been approached cautiously by Brazilian companies.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

  • — Brazil hosts dozens of Gay Pride Parades. São Paulo’s parade is the largest in the world, attracting over 3 million people, a Guinness World Record. Sao Paulo is also home to Latin America’s biggest gay club, The Week.
  • — There are about 300 active LGBT+ organizations operating in Brazil.
  • — A free residential shelter called CASA 1 in Sao Paulo has been established to support members of Brazil’s LGBT+ community. Similar establishments are being considered and developed elsewhere in Brazil.
  • — According to a 2014 study by Micro Rainbow International, LGBT+ people are more likely to become and/or remain poor due to stigma and discrimination they face in the labor force. At the same time, big cities are generally friendlier to members of the LGBT+ community compared to poorer, more rural areas.

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

  • — In May 2018, the Ministry of Human Rights established a national pact against LGBT+ violence. The ordinance came into effect immediately and was officially launched by the federal government on May 16, 2018. The federal government and ten states have already joined the agreement.
  • — While Brazil has made some of the most progress in recognizing LGBT+ rights in Latin America, there are no laws prohibiting hate crimes, and reported rates of homophobia and violence against LGBT+ people are alarmingly high.
  • — A disproportionate number of victims of violence in Brazil are trans women – the country is undergoing what some have called a trans murder epidemic.
  • — Prominent LGBT+ politician Marielle Franco was assassinated in March 2018.
  • — On 15 February 2017, transgender woman Dandara dos Santos was beaten to death in Bom Jardim neighbourhood in Fortaleza city. According to investigators, at least 12 people were involved in her murder. Five men were ultimately sentenced for her killing.
  • — According to a 2013 global survey by Pew Research, 60% of Brazilians say homosexuality should be accepted by society, versus 36% who say it should be rejected, putting Brazil in the median for LGBT+ tolerance among the Latin American countries surveyed.
  • — Former presidential candidate Levy Fidelix said in a televised debate in 2014 that homosexuals “need psychological care” and should be kept away from families and their children. He was then ordered to pay a fine of $300,000 in a public civil action filed by the LGBT+ movement.
  • — Workplace discrimination continues to plague LGBT+ workers. A study by Out Now consulting found 68% of LGBT+ workers had experienced homophobia in their workplace, and nearly 1 in 5 were the victims of LGBT+ harassment. As a result, 20% of those surveyed are completely closeted at work and 19% are only out to a few trusted people. Only a third of LGBT+ workers were comfortable enough to be out to everyone at work.
Local Leaders Advocating for LGBT+ Equality

There are many openly LGBT+ activists and experts in Brazil. Out Leadership recommends:

Gabriel Alves de Faria
Human Rights and LGBTI Specialist

Lucas Paoli Itaboraphy
Project Manager, Micro Rainbow International

Jaqueline Gomes de Jesus
Social Psychologist, Race and LGBTI Specialist, PhD

Sabastian Rocca
Founder and CEO, Micro Rainbow International