Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro has targeted the LGBTQ community in his first day of administration.
The former army captain – who has been nicknamed the “Trump of the Tropics” – signed executive orders that will affect the LGBTQ community, indigenous groups and descendants of slaves.
Bolsonaro has removed LGBTQ concerns from the responsibilities of the human rights industry because he feels “gender-based ideology” is a threat to Brazil’s Christian values.
Human Rights Minister, Damares Alves, hasn’t yet commented on his attack on the community, but previously said “the Brazilian family is being threatened” by diversity policies.
“The state is lay, but this minister is terribly Christian,” she said on Wednesday.
“Girls will be princesses and boys will be princes. There will be no more ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil.”
LGBTQ activist Symmy Larrat said she doesn’t expect the administration to treat the LGBTQ community fairly.
“The human rights ministry discussed our concerns at a body called secretariat of promotion and defense of human rights,” she said. “That body just disappeared, just like that. We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues.”
In the past, Bolsonaro has said he’d rather his son die in an accident than be gay, and in an interview with Playboy, he said he “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son.”
He added: “If a gay couple came to live in my building, my property will lose value. If they walk around holding hands, kissing, it will lose value!”
Bolsonaro also caused controversy in 2014 when he told congresswoman Maria do Rosario: “I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it.”
In a later interview, he said she was “not worth raping; she is very ugly.”
The far-right congressman has said of women: “Because women get more labor rights than men, meaning they get maternity leave, the employer prefers to hire men.
“I would not employ (a woman) with the same salary (of a man). But there are many women who are competent.”
On top of that, he made racist remarks during a 2017 speech at Rio de Janeiro’s Hebraica Club, in which he said: “I visited a quilombo (a settlement founded and organized by the descendants of slaves) and the least heavy afro-descendant weighed seven arrobas (about 230 pounds). They do nothing! They are not even good for procreation.”
He also claimed he’s in favour of torture – because “the people are in favour” – during an appearance on Brazilian television in 1999.
In his victory speech, Bolsonaro said he was a “defender of freedom” who intends to run a government that protects citizens who “follow their duties and respect the laws,” adding: “The laws are for everyone, this is how it will be during our constitutional and democratic government.”
During a recent “Women Against Bolsonaro march” in Sao Paulo, protest organiser Luka Franca said: “Bolsonaro has opened a Pandora box. He’s given a voice to an ultra right population who want to voice their prejudice and annihilate anyone who is different.”