Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro wants the LGBTQ community to stay away from the South American country because “we have families”.
This shocking statement was said to a group of reporters at a breakfast press conference in the capital Brasilia.
“If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for it,” declared President Bolsonaro.
“But we can’t be known as a paradise for the gay world. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families”.
Bolsonaro has not been shy about his disdain for the LGBTQ+ community of Brazil. The former soldier turned president said back in 2002 that if he were to encounter two men sharing a kiss on the street, “I’ll whack them”.
In 2011, he also made the despicable comment, saying: “I would be incapable of loving a gay son”.
Stating that he would, “rather my son died in an accident than showed up with some bloke with a moustache”.
Elected last year, Bolsonaro’s far-right presidency campaign was backed by America’s President Donald Trump, promising to alleviate Brazil’s economic woes and tackling endemic corruption.
Many reports have Bolsonaro equating homosexuality to paedophilia and he has even suggested that most homosexuals, who are murdered, are sex workers and not worthy of protection through legislation.
His latest comments have sparked outrage by human rights activists.
“This is not a head of state – this is a national disgrace,” says David Miranda, a congressman and LGBTQ activist. Miranda told The Guardian that the president’s remarks put targets on the backs of Brazil’s LGBTQ community, while also promoting the sexual exploitation of their women.
“He is staining the image of our country in every imaginable way,” Miranda said.
The president of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (ILGTA), John Tanzella, told Reuters: “Bolsonaro’s homophobic remarks will have social and economic repercussions for Brazil. His hate speech not only deters LGBTQ+ travellers but also their allies around the world”.
Brazil is among the top two most popular countries for LGBTQ tourists, according to the World Travel Market. They claim that 30.75% of tourism revenue during Rio de Janeiro’s famous carnival is from LGBTQ revellers.