Human rights advocates have vowed to defend Brazil’s LGBTIQ community after the election of far-right congressman and “proud homophobe” Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro won a 55% majority of the vote on Sunday, against opponent Fernando Haddad from the left-wing Workers Party, CNN reported.
Bolsonaro has a long history of homophobic and misogynistic comments, including that he was “very proud” of being anti-gay, equating homosexuality with pedophilia and claiming if he saw two men kissing in the street, he would hit them.
He told Playboy magazine in 2011, “I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I prefer that he die in an accident.”
He doubled down on the statements in a 2013 interview with Stephen Fry for documentary series Out There.
“No father would ever take pride in having a gay son,” he said.
“You have to have some sort of moral compass bearing in your life.
“[Gay activists] want to reach our children in order to turn the children into gay adults to satisfy their sexuality in the future.
“I went into battle with the gays because the government proposed anti-homophobia classes for the junior grades, but that would actively stimulate homosexuality in children from 6 years old.
“There is no homophobic behavior in Brazil. Those who die, 90 percent of homosexual deaths, they die in drug-related situations, prostitution, or even killed by their own partners.”
Increase in anti-LGBTIQ violence in Brazil
In January, an LGBTI watchdog in the country reported that violent deaths of LGBTI people in Brazil are at an all-time high, increasing an estimated 30 per cent since 2016 and tripling since 2007.
Messages of support for the Brazilian LGBTIQ community flooded social media after the election, using phrases like “Eu resisto” (“I resist”), “Ninguém solta a mao de ninguém” and “No nos soltaremos las manos” (“We will not let go of each other’s hands”), PinkNews reported.
Human rights group Amnesty International said after Bolsonaro’s election that his “toxic speech” must not become government policy.
“The president-elect has campaigned with an openly anti-human-rights agenda and frequently made discriminatory statements about different groups of society,” Amnesty’s Americas director Erika Guevara-Rosas said.
“His election as Brazil´s president could pose a huge risk to Indigenous Peoples and quilombolas, traditional rural communities, LGBTI people, black youth, women, activists and civil society organizations, if his rhetoric is transformed in public policy.
“Amnesty International will stand alongside social movements, NGOs, activists and all those who defend human rights to ensure that Brazil’s future brings more rights and less repression.”
(Photo by Agência Brasil Fotografias/Flickr)