Brazil ‘gay cure’ bill withdrawn, could come back in 2015

A law that would have allowed a return to attempts to cure people of their sexuality has been withdrawn in Brazil after it became clear it would be voted down by lawmakers but the bill's author says it will return

Brazil ‘gay cure’ bill withdrawn, could come back in 2015
03 July 2013

An extremist anti-gay lawmaker and Christian pastor in Brazil is being forced to withdraw a ‘gay cure’ bill.

João Campos, who authored the ‘gay cure’ bill, requested a motion to bring the legislation for a vote at Chamber of Deputies, Brazil’s lower house of Congress.

The bill was controversially approved by the Brazilian congressional human rights committee.

The legislation aimed to overturning a ban by the Brazilian Psychiatry and Psychological Associations stopping professionals from treating homosexuality as a disease or a mental disorder.

Campos requested to withdraw the bill yesterday (2 July), as it became clear the legislation was going to be rejected outright by the Chamber, including by members of his own Social Democratic Party of Brazil (PSDB).

The defeat of the bill, championed by another Evangelical pastor and lawmaker Marco Feliciano who heads the Chamber’s Human Rights and Minorities Committee (CDHM), is seen an important set-back to the growing power of the Evangelical lawmakers lobby.

In the past, Feliciano has caused controversy with his anti-gay remarks, such as saying being gay is ‘hateful’, ‘sick’ and against the rule of God. He believes ‘salvation is available to them’ in the form of a gay ‘cures’.

He is also on the record saying ‘AIDS is a gay cancer’ and called LGBT advocates a ‘gay dictatorship’.

Feliciano has also made racist statements, such as saying: ‘Africans descend from an ancestor cursed by Noah’ and that is why is suffers from ‘hunger, diseases, ethnic wars’.

The fight for ‘gay cures’ was one of the reasons why an unprecedented number of LGBT advocates participated in nationwide protests to demand the bill be revoked.

The protests are largely focused against corruption and poor public services, sparked by hike in public transportation costs in Brazil.

Gustavo Dias da Silva, who was present in the Rio protests, previously told GSN: ‘I think that protesting against the “gay cure” bill is also criticizing Feliciano and the political classes for allowing an anti-gay and racist Evangelical pastor to be elected as president of CDHM.

‘Its ridiculous that someone with this kind of mentality is elected to such a post.’

Following the protests, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff met with leading figures of the LGBT community and vowed to defend gay rights and criticized homophobic violence, although she failed to denounce specifically the ‘gay cure’ project.

In an official note, Campos stated: ‘the public opposition of my party … prevented, briefly, the possibility of [the bills] adoption.

‘On the other hand, will not allow this Chamber and government use this project to divert the focus away from the priorities of the people, as expressed in the street protests.’

The official withdrawal of the bill will require a vote in by the Chamber’s lawmakers, which is certain to pass.

Congressman Jean Wyllys says the bill should be rejected outright rather than withdrawn.

He warned the withdraw was a postponing tactic and the bill could be reintroduced in 2015.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Stoli Vodka donates US$300,000 to fund gay rights leadership program in the US

How far will donating US$300,000 to a gay rights group go to improve the brand’s image in the eyes of the LGBT community?
No thumbnail available

Parents of Jun Lin, victim of pornstar killer, speak on Canadian TV

Mother says the fact that people watch his murder online is 'like my son is being murdered again and again'
European Court Italy ruling may open door to gay civil unions in British Caribbean

European Court Italy ruling may open door to gay civil unions in British Caribbean

Jamaican lawyer Maurice Tomlinson says the European Court ruling that recognition of same-sex relationships is a human right may lead to civil partnerships across the Caribbean British Overseas Territories
No thumbnail available

Uganda jails British actor for role in gay-themed play

British actor Keith Prosser, who appeared in a gay-themed play last year in Uganda, has been arrested and jailed in preparation for deportation
No thumbnail available

Family of gay West Hollywood man who died from bacterial meningitis blasts councilman

John Duran says anger is misplaced, he was trying to warn public of possible outbreak
No thumbnail available

New case shows Cameron’s promises on gay asylum in UK can’t be trusted

Despite European court ruling, Prime Minister pledges and government policy, another lesbian was deported back to Uganda
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Gay teens win Cutest Couple photo in high school yearbook

Brad Taylor And Dylan Meehan have received an overwhelming show of support since their yearbook photo has gone viral
No thumbnail available

Gay religious short film selected for Sundance 2015

Followers by director Tim Marshall will be screened in front of A-list critics and avid movie-goers
No thumbnail available

Matt Damon says he took his role as Liberace's lover very seriously

Behind the Candelabra star has never seen a film with such intimacy between two men before