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Brazil’s same-sex couples rush to marry before Bolsonaro presidency

Brazil’s same-sex couples rush to marry before Bolsonaro presidency

Rio de Janeiro in Brazil Bolsonaro

Same-sex couples living in Brazil have begun rushing to tie the knot before the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro begins.

The far-right Bolsonaro will become Brail’s president on 1 January 2019.

His election has made many LGBTI couples fearful that the president-elect will severely limit LGBTI rights once he takes office.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013.

A report by BBC News profiling same-sex couples in Brazil included and interview with lesbian couple, Larissa and Luana, prior to their wedding ceremony.

Having been together for three years, the couple said they chose to marry before Bolensaro becomes president.

‘We decided to get married after the presidential elections here in Brazil,’ says Larissa. ‘The president-elect is extremely homophobic and he could take away the rights that we’ve won, such as the right to marry.

‘What he says in itself is enough to scare us. He thinks we should die. He doesn’t think we are normal,’

Her partner, Luana, also expressed her worry: ‘Bolsonaro is close to the evangelical faction in the senate and also in the lower house. And he follows their conservative agenda.’

An uptick in homophobic violence

LGBTI rights groups have expressed staunch opposition to Bolsonaro.

The now-president-elect has made numerous homophobic comments during his time in the public eye.

In the past, he infamously said ‘Yes, I’m homophobic – and very proud of it’, and suggested that if parents see their son ‘acting a little bit gay’ they should beat him ‘to make him normal’.

He also said that if he saw a gay couple on the street he would ‘whack them’.

Brazil has seen a spike in homophobic violence during Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign.

The president-elect has concerned numerous rights groups because of his hardline stance. Some have expressed concern that Bolsonaro’s presidency could usher in a phase of authoritarianism in Brazil.

The former army captain has also expressed his admiration for Brazil’s military junta. Thousands of people were detained, tortured and executed during the dictatorship, which ruled from 1967 to 1985.