A court has blocked Brazilian mayor Marcelo Crivella from censoring a comic book showing two gay Avengers characters kissing.
The 2010 Marvel comic, titled Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, follows superhero Wiccan, who is in a same-sex relationship with Hulkling. The pair (pictured above) share a kiss in the comic.
The furore began when conservative Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella found a copy at the city’s International Book Biennial last week.
He ordered police to raid the festival and seize all copies of the comic featuring the kiss. He said he was acting to “protect children” against “sexual content”.
The former evangelical pastor then took to Twitter to denounce the publication. He said publishers should package and seal “books like this in black plastic.”
“This can’t be induced, be it in schools, in a book, or wherever. We will always continue to defend the family,” he said.
Outrage leads to Avengers gay kiss comic selling out
But in response to the raid, the book fair organisers filed a preventative injunction in the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice.
They argued exhibitors should have the right to “commercialise literary works on the most diverse subjects”.
And on Sunday Brazil’s supreme court overruled a court decision that had supported Crivella’s move.
Local newspaper O Globo reported the publicity actually led to retailers selling out of the comic book before agents could complete their search.
Another local newspaper Folha de São Paulo also published the illustration of the kiss on the front page of over the weekend.
— Folha de S.Paulo (@folha) September 7, 2019
Marcelo has a history of anti-LGBTIQ rhetoric and has previously called homosexuality “evil behaviour.”
Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro also has a long and shocking history of homophobic and misogynistic comments. He’s previously equated homosexuality to pedophilia and proclaimed he would rather his son die than be gay.
Bolsonaro has also said he’s a “proud” homophobe and called “gender-based ideology” a threat to Brazil’s Christian values.
He said in February he wanted to remove all content from school textbooks referencing homosexuality, feminism, and violence against women.
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