Curitiba-PR, Brazil – April 23th 2019 – Brazil demands respect for diversity: we will not accept attitudes and actions linked to racism, machismo, discriminations against lesbian women, gay men, bisexual men and women, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI+), nor any other attitudes that promote hate.
The country looks on with indignation at the escalation of intolerance sponsored by the head of the Federal Administration. In addition to concerted efforts that are undermining Education, Humanities and social rights, the president vetoed a Banco do Brasil advertisement focused on young people and which encompassed Brazil’s diversity.
Besides extrapolating his attributions, interfering in an arbitrary and abusive manner in an advertising strategy of a mixed capital company (Banco do Brasil), Bolsonaro went on to dismiss, in a gesture typical of authoritarian periods, the bank’s director of marketing, Delano Valentim. Likewise, it was reported that the president vetoed the use in Banco do Brasil advertising campaigns of expressions associated with the LGBTI+ community, such as "sealing". The president’s action also went against his election promise to use public funds economically, since an advertising piece that cost BRL 17 million, according to Banco do Brasil sources, has been wasted.
We consider these actions of the president of the Republic to be incompatible with the country’s real needs, provoking unnecessary controversy in relation to civil rights and democratic freedoms, as well as inciting division, prejudice and hate within society. Furthermore, the president is exercising in a reprehensible manner the role he should be playing as a leader in facing up to serious issues in Brazil, such as unemployment, structural hunger, increased poverty, among many other matters that demand urgent and effective public policies.
On the same day, during a press conference, the president of the Republic made discriminatory statements against the LGBTI+ community - "Brazil cannot be a country open to the gay world, gay tourism; we have families", thus promoting hate. We want to make it clear to the president that we are human beings, born and constituted in the most diversified forms of families built on affection and love.
Equally deplorable, during the same speech, was the president’s statement that “anyone who wants to come here to have sex with women, please feel free”, expressing unacceptable sexist convictions, encouraging tourism aimed at the sexual exploitation of women and girls.
Brazil is proud of the democratic progress we have been celebrating since the 1988 Constitution. In our life as a nation, we have been inside the democratic game, recognizing the rights of women, Black women and men, youth, indigenous peoples, people with disability, LGBTI+ people, among so many other individuals within society who go to make up the social plurality and, consequently, the main beauty of the Brazilian population.
We will not accept setbacks, nor accept that intolerance turn itself into a government or State policy. We shall take a stance in the face of the threats and attacks against affirmative policies, the promotion of Human Rights and the citizenship of diverse social sectors.
It is our desire that Mr. Jair Bolsonaro ponders on the damage he is causing to Brazil’s image worldwide, which generates immediate negative repercussions both culturally and economically. After all, who would want to visit an intolerant, discriminatory and racist country?
We will not admit attacks against our physical and symbolic existence, our culture and our dignity. If they threaten our existence, we shall be resistance! As such we will take all possible democratic and judicial measures to prevent setbacks to the rights that have been won.
The president of the Republic has breached article 78 of the Federal Constitution, which determines his “commitment to upkeep, defend and comply with the Constitution, obey the law, promote the general well-being of the Brazilian people”.
Aliança Nacional LGBTI+, through its Board of Directors, State- and Municipal-level Coordinations, urges the entire Brazilian population and national and international institutions, in particular all defenders of democratic freedoms, to stand up against this escalation of intolerance currently being promoted by sectors of the Executive Branch, principally in the person of the president of the Republic, demanding that social policies and affirmative actions be upkept.
Aliança Nacional LGBTI+
About the Brazilian National LGBTI+ Alliance – The National LGBTI+ Alliance is a non-profit civil society organization with branches in all 27 Brazilian Federative Units and in more than 130 Brazilian municipalities. It works to promote and defend the human rights and citizenship of the Brazilian LGBTI+ community through partnerships with individuals and legal entities. It is cross-party and currently has over 700 individual members, approximately 50% of whom are members of political parties, providing representation of 30 of the 35 political parties currently in existence in Brazil. Further information at: www.aliancalgbti.org.br