Eduardo Leite, a contender to become Brazil’s next president, will not make LGBTQ+ equality a top priority during his campaign.
Leite made history when he came out as gay in July 2021 by becoming the first out governor in Brazil’s history.
He has been tipped as a top contender to current Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, offering a change from his far-right agenda.
Leite, who is a member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (BSDP), previously revealed that he came out before running for high office so he would not be “accused of making a political calculation”.
“In Brazil nowadays, unfortunately, this is one theme to discredit people, especially because of the way that Bolsonaro talks about it,” he said of being gay in Brazil.
Despite this, Leite has confirmed that he will not have LGBTQ+ rights on his agenda when he is on the campaign trail.
The presidential hopeful said that it is “not a cause I lay down for,” even though “the correct direction for the country is toward respect, tolerance, and the quest for equality”.
“Not every woman is a feminist activist, not every black person is a racial activist, and not every gay person needs to be an activist,” Leite explained of his stance.
LGBTQ+ activists in the country are still backing him regardless of this, as he offers a much better alternative to Bolsonaro who has previously said he would rather his son die in an accident than be gay.
“Yes, I am homophobic — and very proud of it,” Brazil’s current president proclaimed in 2013.
Four years later, in 2017, Bolsonaro said that “a good education” is the reason for none of his children being gay.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he reportedly said that “wearing masks is a f****t thing” as Brazilian coronavirus cases soared to some of the highest levels in the world.
Former President Donald Trump formed a relationship with Bolsonaro, though the latter was forced to cancel a New York trip in 2019 due to an array of venues refusing to let him stay at their establishments.
Bolsonaro called the resistance an example of “activist ideology,” with the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio praising venues for stopping the “dangerous man” from visiting.
Brazil’s presidential election is scheduled for 2022.
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