Earlier this year, a Brazilian judge permitted a gay couple in a civil union to officially turn their partnership into a marriage - but that doesn’t mean that homophobia is over in Brazil. Leaders in the very city where the pro-same-sex-marriage ruling came down, São Paulo, voted to declare an annual “Heterosexual Pride Day,” in an effort to strike back at public celebrations of gay pride.
Carlos Apolinário, the representative behind the bill, has the backing of Brazil’s increasingly powerful Protestant church. He has, in the past, tried to ban gay pride parades, but has clearly decided that it’s time to try a less direct tack. The creation of “Heterosexual Day,” he said, was not homophobic, but rather a way to end the “excesses and privileges” that the gay community enjoys.
To give you a sense for how extremely lucky LGBT people in Brazil are, just weeks ago a conservative congressman in the capital Brasilia announced that he was proud to be prejudiced against gays. The Gay Group of Bahia reports that the number of people killed because of their sexual orientation has risen 113 percent over the past five years. Clearly, this is a minority group that has more privileges than it knows what to do with.
The measure needs to be approved by the mayor before it can become official, and it’s unclear whether the mayor will add his stamp of approval. It’s apparent, though, that for people like Apolinário, any basic right afforded to LGBT citizens of Brazil will seem like an undeserved privilege, which will fast erode the country’s morals if left unchecked.
Photo from Antonio Cruz via Wikimedia Commons.