Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been accused of inciting hatred towards LGBTI individuals after stating his South American country should not become a “gay tourism paradise”. The comments were made last week during a breakfast meeting with Brazilian reporters.
The Guardian reports that Bolsonaro told journalists in the country’s capital, Brasília, that “if [a tourist] 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.”
According to Brazilian magazine Exame, Bolsonaro added that Brazil “can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism, because we have families”.
The president’s comments immediately drew public outcry, with David Miranda, a leftist congressman and LGBT activist, remarking that “this is not a head of state, this is a national disgrace”. He added that Miranda Bolsonaro’s remarks simultaneously endangered members of Brazil’s LGBT community by “putting a target on their backs” and promoted the sexual exploitation of Brazilian women.
This is not the first time the president, a former army captain, has made similar controversial remarks, and even once declared: “Yes, I’m homophobic – and very proud of it.”
In what Stephen Fry later described as “one of the most chilling confrontations I’ve ever had with a human being”, Bolsonaro also claimed in a 2013 interview with the British actor that “homosexual fundamentalists” were brainwashing heterosexual children to “become gays and lesbians to satisfy them sexually in the future”.