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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Human Rights Secretary Paulo Vannuchi signed a decree Dec. 9 creating the National LGBT Council.
The document says the council’s purpose is to “formulate and propose guidelines for government actions, at the national level, aimed at combating discrimination and promoting and defending the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals.”
The body is composed of employees from 15 government ministries and representatives of 15 nongovernmental organizations.
“The creation of the council is something ABGLT has been pressuring for and is a victory for civil society and the Lula government,” said Toni Reis, president of the Brazilian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Association. “It shows respect for the deliberations of the 1st National LGBT Conference, held in June 2008, and will be a means of ensuring social watch over the implementation of the 166 actions contained in the National Plan to Promote LGBT Citizenship and Human Rights.”