The LGBTQ community in Brazil began to see its fears realized on New Year’s Day when newly-elected President Jair Bolsonaro immediately issued executive orders targeting the South American country’s gay citizens.
Just hours after his inauguration, Bolsonaro removed all LGBTQ issues from the agenda of the Human Rights Ministry.
Damares Alves, a former evangelical pastor who is now Brazil’s new human rights minister, said in her first public statement, “The state is lay, but this minister is terribly Christian.”
“Girls will be princesses and boys will be princes,” said Alves. “There will be no more ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil.”
In removing LGBTQ concerns from the Human Rights Ministry, Bolsonaro did not name another agency to take on the responsibilities.
Bolsonaro has been virulently anti-LGBTQ his entire career having worn the label of “proud homophobe” for years. In the past he’s said parents should beat their children if they suspect they might be gay, and that he’d rather have “a dead son rather than a gay son.”
Sadly, his platform of anti-LGBTQ, anti-Black, anti-women, and anti-Indigenous positions won his the presidency with more than 55% of the vote in October.
As Instinct has recently reported, numerous same-sex couples made a dash to the alter to get married before Bolsonaro took office, concerned he might attempt to reverse the country’s 2013 same-sex marriage law.
According to NBC News, Bolsonaro signed a document in partnership with the Catholic organization Voto Católico Brasil promising “to defend and promote the true meaning of matrimony: the union between a man and a woman.” LGBTQ activists and advocates saw that as a threat to repeal marriage equality.
Bolsonaro's impending presidency led to a 66% spike in same-sex weddings in November according to The New York Times.
Considering the assault on LGBTQ rights by the Trump administration, it comes as no surprise that Donald Trump tweeted a message of support to Bolsonaro, who has been called the “Trump of the Tropics.”
Congratulations to President @JairBolsonaro who just made a great inauguration speech – the U.S.A. is with you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019
President Trump also sent his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to attend Bolsonaro’s inauguration.
Great meeting President @jairbolsonaro to reinforce our shared commitment to democracy, education, prosperity, security, and #humanrights. Look forward to working together to support those suffering in #Cuba, #Nicaragua, and #Venezuela under the weight of dictatorships. pic.twitter.com/GQ5SP24Rl7
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 2, 2019