David Benkof | Contributor

As Congress debates the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination against LGBT people among many other things, countries in other parts of the world are going much further. So far, in the United States, people who discriminate in the workplace have faced both fines and civil liability.

But at least two major nations have recently added criminal sanctions to their law codes for acts of discrimination against gay people, with penalties of up to three years in prison.

Currently, Brazils Supreme Court is in the process of interpreting the nations punitive non-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The move requires a majority of the 11 justices, and although not all of them have indicated their intentions, six have already announced support for the move, enough for a majority. While Brazils National Congress can overturn the change, until that happens the Supreme Courts ruling is the law of the land. (RELATED: Trump Of The Tropics Wins Brazilian Presidential Election)

Under the Latin American countrys long-standing anti-racism laws, the penalty for employment and other discrimination ranges from a fine to three years in prison.

And last October, Switzerlands Parliament voted 118-60 to add sexual orientation to the countrys anti-racism laws. That very broad law punishes acts of discrimination by up to three years in prison. It even applies to speech, which means that as of now, someone who says all homos should be imprisoned in camps can be imprisoned themselves.

Lausanne, SWITZERLAND: Demonstrators attend the Swiss Gay Pride 2006, 08 July 2006 in Lausanne. Several thousand people join the march through the streets. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the LGBT community and their allies were exultant over the changes. One Swiss politician told the Swiss newspaper Read More – Source

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