After his trip to New York was canceled after venues refused to host him at an event where he was to be honored, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced he would visit Dallas instead. His visit is tentatively scheduled for next week.
According to the Rio Times, “Companies sponsoring the event withdrew their support for Bolsonaro, and the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, even asked one of the chosen locations not to receive the president and to consider him a ‘dangerous human being.’”
Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1, 2019, has become known for his homophobic and racists comments as well as siding with business interests over protecting the Amazon and indigenous people’s rights. The newspaper featured a picture of Mayor Mike Rawlings and said it wasn’t sure if Rawlings would welcome Bolsonaro.
Evoking his best Donald Trump imporession, Bolsonaro has said, “It’s my advice and I do it: I evade all the taxes I can.”
His dislike of LGBT people is apparent in a variety of quotes:
“I’m a victim of prejudice against heterosexuals.”
After marriage equality: “It’s a mess. The next steps are the adoption of children and the legalization of pedophilia.”
“I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I wouldn’t be a hypocrite. I prefer that he die in an accident than show up with some guy with a mustache.”
“I went into battle with the gays because the government proposed anti-homophobia classes for the junior grades, but that would actively stimulate homosexuality in children from 6 years old. This is not normal.”
But of course, you can always justify your bigotry by finding someone worse: “To not like is not the same as to hate. You don’t like the Taliban, do you? We Brazilian people don’t like homosexuals, but we don’t persecute and hunt homosexuals.”
This is just a small sample of his homophobia. I could continue to list of quotes with his support of torture and his racist quotes.
After being shunned in New York because of his racist and homophobic views, it’s interesting he chose Dallas, which will have the largest percentage of gay city councilmen of any large city council in the U.S. (And that percentage could increase if Erin Moore wins her run-off.) If he does show up here, will Mayor Rawlings welcome him? And what kind of reception will he get from the North Texas LGBT community and other minority communities? Let’s hope that reception is “appropriate.”
— David Taffet