US museum drops event honoring Brazil’s homophobic president
The American Museum of Natural History on Monday (15 April) announced it would no longer host a private event honoring Brazil’s notoriously homophobic far-right president.
Rights groups, political leaders, museum employees, and celebrities had slammed The New York City museum.
The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce was due to honor at Jair Bolsonaro as the chamber’s ‘Person of the Year’ at the museum.
Far-right Bolsonaro, who took office in January, has described himself as a ‘proud homophobe’.
He also said he’d prefer to have a dead son than a gay son.
On Monday, the museum said organizers agreed it was ‘not the optimal location’.
‘This traditional event will go forward at another location on the original date & time,’ the museum added in a tweet.
With mutual respect for the work & goals of our individual organizations, we jointly agreed that the Museum is not the optimal location for the Brazilian-Am. Chamber of Commerce gala dinner. This traditional event will go forward at another location on the original date & time.
— American Museum of Natural History (@AMNH) April 15, 2019
GLAAD led calls for the museum to cancel the event.
‘It’s dangerous for a respected attraction … to provide a national platform for a foreign leader who is known for targeting and attacking marginalized communities, especially LGBTQ people’ president Sarah Kate Ellis said.
The science community also slammed the Museum. Bolsonaro’s denies of human-caused climate change, wants to remove protections on the Amazon rainforest, and has attacked indigenous communities.
Trump of the Tropics
Known for his far-right policies and anti-LGBTI, misogynistic, and racist comments, some people call Bolsonaro ‘the Trump of the Tropics’.
LGBTI activists have warned Bolsonaro will usher in a new wave of terror for Brazil’s LGBTI community.
In January, Brazil’s only openly-gay lawmaker fled the country.
‘For the future of this cause,’ Jean Wyllys told Folha de S. Paulo, ‘I have to stay alive. ‘I don’t want to be a martyr’, he also said.
He said he did not plan to return to Brazil.
Many LGBTI Brazilians who said they were fearful for their rights and safety under the rule of the openly homophobic Bolsonaro.
Prior to the presidency, Brazil saw a spate of same-sex weddings, as same-sex couples rushed to marry before Bolsonaro took office.
Though same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013, many LGBTI people worry that Bolsonaro might begin rescinding LGBTI rights during his presidency.
2018 was one of the deadliest years for Brazil’s LGBTI community.
In September, Brazilian LGBTI rights group reported more than 300 LGBTI people have been murdered in Brazil in 2018. Importantly, that’s from 220 by the same time the previous year.
‘I would be incapable of loving a homosexual child’ Bolsonaro once said.
‘If your son starts acting a little gay, hit him with some leather, and he’ll change his behavior’ he also said.
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Author: Rik Glauert