Thousands of gays joined the protests in Brazil demanding change and investment in real issues, people rather than in corrupt politicians and a ‘gay cure’ bill.
The bill, if passed, will allow psychologists to offer a ‘treatment’ to ‘cure’ gay people.
The ‘Cura Gay’ (gay cure) bill, was authored by Congressman João Campos and promoted by the president of Brazil’s parliamentary Commission for Human Rights (CDHM), Marco Feliciano, still needs to go through two House committees before being voted on.
Psychologists and LGBT rights groups jointly called for protestors to raise this issue in the nationwide protests, with many heeding their call all over the country.
Yesterday (22 June) thousands of LGBT activists and sex workers marched in the streets of the country’s capital, Brasilia, demanding the 'Cura Gay' law scrapped.
On Friday (21 June) over 4,000 LGBT protestors along with psychologists and healthcare professionals took to the streets of São Paulo calling for the resignation of Feliciano, and poking fun at the ‘Cura Gay’ law project with colorful banners and costumes.
Amongst the protestors, a lesbian couple and their child, held a banner saying ‘My mums don’t need cure! #Feliciano, you don’t represent my family’, while two bear chested hunks held a sign saying ‘Feliciano, look at what you’re missing’.
Marcelo, a 21 year old student who participated in São Paulo’s protests told Gay Star News: ‘We simply had enough, all eyes are on Brazil now because of the world football cup and the Olympics, so let everyone see the reality here; Junior politicians earn more than three times the salary of the British prime minister, appointing friends and family to public office and misusing the high taxes we pay for law projects like “gay cure”.
‘That’s just the tip of the iceberg, we have no decent public education (a teacher earns about US$ 350 a month), health (people are left to die in corridors) and transport system (private and expensive), so we want to cure Brazil from such bad politicians and problems, not a “gay cure” bill.’
Many gays, lesbians and transgender people who participated in the wider protests against state corruption, entitled ‘Muda Brasil’ (Change Brazil) also highlighted the issue.
In Rio, over 300,000 protestors took to the streets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday each night.
Gustavo Dias da Silva, who was present in the Rio protests and filmed them, told Gay Star News: ‘It all started with the 20 cents raise on the public (privatized) transport, it was just the spark that lit the flames of the protests.
‘We’re demanding solutions for the real issues: revoking the impunity bill [known as PEC 37], investment in health, education and transport, rescinding the “gay cure”, are just some of a long list of demands’.
‘I believe that this is an important moment for all the issues to be aired so that the media focuses on our demands.
‘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.
‘The gay protestors however mostly want the same things the larger public wants and are inseparable.’
Elton Apollo, who participated in the protests in João Pessoa, in the north east of Brazil told GSN: ‘The “Gay Cure” law worries me because bit by bit the evangelical lobby is introducing such laws that in essence subvert the secular character of the state’
‘This lobby is getting increasingly powerful in the Congress, with a large and increasing electoral pool, and it does represent a growing homophobic movement which many do not want to speak of.’
‘So in the protests in João Pessoa, as throughout Brazil, many gays had a long list of grievances, which we want heard and addressed.
'The response so far by politicians, including our President, Dilma Rousseff, isn't fully addressing them, so the protests will go on.’
Watch a video of Rio protestors by Gustavo Dias da Silva:
Some pictures of the protestors: