Brazil’s far-right president, the self-declared homophobe Jair Bolsonaro, has been accused of inciting hatred towards LGBT people after declaring the South American country should not become a “gay tourism paradise”.
“If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life,” Bolsonaro reportedly told journalists in the capital, Brasília. “But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families,” Bolsonaro added, according to the Brazilian magazine Exame.
The comments – made during a breakfast meeting with Brazilian reporters – sparked an immediate reaction from LGBT campaigners.
“This is not a head of state – this is a national disgrace,” said David Miranda, a leftist congressman and LGBT activist. Miranda said the president’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.
“He is staining the image of our country in every imaginable way,” Miranda said.
Renan Quinalha, a São Paulo-based lawyer and LGBT activist, said: “It is a disastrous declaration, both from the human rights point of view and with regards to Brazil’s international image.”