Jair Bolsonaro (Pic: Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil)
Brazil’s new right wing president Jair Bolsonaro has started his assault against the LGBTQ community, just hours after formally taking office on Tuesday.
According to AP, Bolsonaro announced in an executive order that the human rights ministry would no longer deal with issues facing the LGBTQ community. He has also moved to restrict the allocation of land for indigenous communities.
LGBTQ activist Symmy Larrat said that, “We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues.”
While LGBTQ Brazilians have many rights, including marriage equality and the right to adopt, the country has the world’s highest LGBTQ murder rate, with 387 individuals killed in 2017; that’s approximately one LGBTQ person murdered every 19 hours.
Brazil’s new human rights minister, who is an evangelical pastor, Damares Alves, said that under Bolsonaro’s administration: “Girls will be princesses and boys will be princes. There will be no more ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil.”
Bolsonaro, who has the backing of America’s President Trump, won the support of voters by promising to take Brazil out of its economic slump and tackle endemic corruption.
He has previously made hate speech attacks on minorities and expressed support for autocratic rule, state torture and restricting the media.
In 2002, Bolsonaro, a former soldier, said: “If I see two men kissing each other in the street, I’ll whack them.” In 2011, he commented that, “I would be incapable of loving a gay son,” adding that he would, “rather my son died in an accident than showed up with some bloke with a moustache.”
Bolsonaro has equated homosexuality to pedophilia and suggested that most homosexuals who are murdered are sex workers and not worthy of protection through legislation. He has also said the state should not pay for anti-retroviral drugs for people living with HIV.