Incensing and compounding homophobic attitudes in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro recently continued his vile rhetoric of hate speech. The Brazilian magazine Exame recently reported he told group of journalists that there was no welcome for gay tourists in Brazil. He reportedly stated, “If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life. But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.”
This continued stoking of homophobia is particularly frightening considering the recent annual report published by Groupo Gay da Bahia, the oldest association for the defence of LGBT+ rights in Brazil, which recorded a total of 419 killings of LGBT+ people in 2018.
If that number isn’t chilling enough, between 2000 and 2017, the report “recorded a total of 3,689 fatal crimes against the LGBT+ population”. In 2017 alone, it was estimated there was a homophobic killing every 19 hours.
Politician and LGBT+ rights activist, David Miranda, said the tourism statement was inciting violence against the community by “putting a target on their backs,” adding that Bolsonaro was “a national disgrace” who was “staining the image of our country in every imaginable way”.
In fact, Miranda himself took the empty seat in government of Jean Wyllys; an openly gay congressmen, who left the country following death threats, saying he would not return for fear of his life.
In recent weeks, Bolsonaro also infamously tweeted a video of one man urinating on another saying “I don’t feel comfortable showing it, but we have to expose the truth to the population.”
Renan Quinalha, another LGBT+ rights activist, added that these types of statements Bolsonaro shares give “a green light to already alarming levels of violence against the LGBT community”.
The President is well known for his statement – “I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I prefer that he die in an accident.”
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