Anna Sheffer
Updated Apr 26, 2019 @ 11:47 am

With so many stories of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the U.S., we can sometimes overlook the struggles of LGBTQ people on a global scale. And recently, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro publicly said he doesn’t want his country to be a “gay tourism paradise.” The Guardian reports that Bolsonaro made the comments at an April 25th meeting with journalists in Brazil’s capital, Brasília.

LGBTQ advocate in Brazil were quick to disavow the president’s words. Left-leaning congressman and LGBTQ rights activist David Miranda told The Guardian, “This is not a head of state—this is a national disgrace.” He went on to say that Bolsonaro’s comments would endanger LGBTQ Brazilians and could also encourage the sexual exploitation of Brazilian women.

As The New York Times notes, Bolsonaro said in 2013 that he is “proud to be homophobic.” He has also previously declared that he would rather his son die in a car accident than be gay. According to CNN, his election in October 2018 sparked major concern for the future of human rights in Brazil, and his often offensive rhetoric has sparked comparisons to Donald Trump.

It’s alarming that any leader would have this attitude, but unfortunately, Bolsonaro is far from the only homophobic leader in the world. LGBTQ rights are human rights, and we stand with the LGBTQ community in Brazil—and everywhere—today and always.