Gay and lesbian couples in Brazil are rushing to marry before the nation’s new homophobic president is sworn into office, reports The New York Times.
Back in October, right-wing politician Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential elections. News of his victory instilled fear in the hearts of LGBTQ Brazilians, who worried what havoc “Brazil’s Donald Trump” could wreak on the South American countries already volatile political climate. To make matters worse, Bolsonaro has never been shy about broadcasting his violently anti-gay beliefs. In an interview from 2011, he told Playboy magazine that he’d rather his son “die in an accident than be gay.”
On January 1, 2019, Bolsonaro (pictured above) will be sworn into office—and gay and lesbian couples in Brazil are afraid he’ll make good on his vow to defend “the true meaning of matrimony as a union between man and woman.” (Marriage equality has been legal in Brazil since May 2013.) Countrywide, the number of same-sex weddings in Brazil surged post-election, according to The Times: In São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, 57 gay or lesbian couples tied the knot in the first 10 days of December alone. That’s compared to 113 same-sex weddings during the entire month of December in 2017.
Brazilian cake makers, wedding planners, photographer, and DJs have stepped forward to aid the cause, offering their services to gay or lesbian couples before the new year free-of-charge. Regional LGBTQ activists have also organized group weddings for same-sex couples across the country.
“We’re going to resist,” Victor Silva Paredes, a 23-year-old gay Brazilian who married his partner this month, told The Times. “We fought for these rights and we’re not going back into the closet.”
The situation is especially dire given Brazil’s staggeringly high rates of homophobic and transphobic violence: According to Grupo Gay de Bahia, a local LGBTQ advocacy group, anti-LGBTQ homocides in Brazil increased about 30% from 2016 to 2017. Just this March, Marielle Franco, an openly lesbian city councillor in Rio de Janeiro, was shot and killed. Now, LGBTQ Brazilians fear Bolsonaro’s presidency will incite a new era of bigotry—and inspire conservatives in Brazil to act on their hateful beliefs.
Written by: Sam Manzella. 31 December 2018. Newnownext.com