Human Rights

Brazil’s new president removes LGBT concerns from human rights ministry

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Brazil’s new right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro removed concerns regarding the LGBT community from being considered by a new human rights ministry hours after his inauguration, part of a sweeping set of executive orders targeting some minority groups.

Bolsonaro stripped LGBT concerns from the ministry and named no other federal agency to consider such issues, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

{mosads}The former military officer and right-wing politician made incendiary comments about race and sexual orientation during his campaign, saying in 2011 that he would be “incapable of loving a homosexual son.”

Dozens of gay couples rushed to get married in the country last month before Bolsonaro took office out of fear that he would try to limit same-sex marriage.

The newly appointed human rights minister, Damares Alves, is an ultraconservative evangelical pastor who claims diversity policies have “threatened” the Brazilian family, AP noted.

“Girls will be princesses and boys will be princes,” Alves said of the new administration. “There will be no more ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil.”

LGBT activist Symmy Larrat told the outlet that she is expecting unequal treatment from Bolsonaro’s administration.

“The human rights ministry discussed our concerns at a body called secretariat of promotion and defense of human rights. That body just disappeared, just like that. We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues,” she said.

The decision to remove LGBT concerns from the ministry was one of a sweeping set of executive orders that Bolsonaro issued in the first hours of his presidency.

He also issued an order that would make it nearly impossible for indigenous communities to identify and demarcate land, a move Bolsonaro has been promising on the campaign trail.

“Less than one million people live in those places isolated from the real Brazil,” he tweeted Wednesday. “They are explored and manipulated by nonprofits. Together we will integrate those citizens and give value to all Brazilians.”

Bolsonaro is also expected to announce the closing of an agency with the Education Ministry that worked to promote diversity in public schools and universities, according to a report from the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics,” was congratulated by the U.S. president after he was sworn into office.

“The U.S.A. is with you!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Bolsonaro thanked Trump for his “words of encouragement.”

“Together, under God’s protection, we shall bring prosperity and progress to our people!” Bolsonaro tweeted.

Tags Brazil Brazil Human rights Jair Bolsonaro LGBT community Same-sex marriage Trump of the Tropics
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