by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

LGBT weddings in Brazil: Activists in a hurry to marry before Bolsonaro took over the Presidency.

12 Jan, 2019

by Eugenia Tovar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

An association of notaries said that so far in 2018, there was a 25% increase in same-sex marriages in Brazil, and 42% in Sao Paulo, the largest city in the country if you compare the numbers with those of the past year.

The rush to get married before Bolsonaro took office on January 1, 2019, was real and has become an act of resistance against the president-elect, who has described himself as a "proud homophobe."

The vice president of Bolsonaro, General Hamilton Mourão, has said that although he believes that marriage is only possible between men and women, the incoming government does not aim to change the status quo of same-sex marriages...however, many people believe that this is not the case, as Bolsonaro has already ‘’forgotten’’ about the LGBT community from his speeches.

In less than a month of government, Jair Bolsonaro has already laid the foundations of what will be his policy and, for now, is a reflection of everything he promised in his election campaign.

Throughout the campaign, the ex-captain of the army spoke little of his electoral program but showed a homophobic, racist, misogynistic and negligent speech with his followers.

Now, the first measures adopted reflect that discourse and an abuse of the rights of workers, indigenous people and the LGTBI community.

The LGBT community in Brazil needs to be stronger than ever before:

A decree by Bolsonaro excluded, at once, the LGBTI collective as a subject of human rights policies and guidelines aimed at the most vulnerable minorities. The expectation was that the new portfolio of Women, Family and Human Rights, led by Damares Aves, was in charge of creating policies for the LGBT community, but the name of the group has simply disappeared.

The ministry explicitly mentions the protection of "women, children and adolescents, youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, black population, ethnic and social and indigenous minorities", but not LGBT people, who were previously included in the structures of Ministries and Special Secretariats of other presidencies, which are now eliminated.

Collective weddings

Some couples and organizations are planning collective weddings. An LGBT shelter in San Pablo has collected enough money to pay the legal costs and have a party for 100 same-sex couples by the end of December 2018.

The shelter itself has also raised funds to pay the notarial costs of 150 trans people who are quick to change their name and gender before Bolsonaro begins his term.

Homophobic rhetoric

Throughout his 30-year political career, Bolsonaro has not kept his homophobia secret. In fact, in a 2011 interview he said he would prefer that his son die before he was homosexual, and in 2017 he was fined for "collective moral damages" because of a television interview in which he said he would never have a gay son, because his children "they have had a good education," and that "he did not promote bad habits."

Days before the elections, Bolsonaro signed a commitment with the Catholic Church, which declared that he would defend and promote "the true meaning of marriage, as the union between men and women."

How, but most importantly, why did Brazilians feel the urge to vote someone like Bolsonaro in, is still a mystery. I guess we will have to wait and see what the future holds for the LGBT community in Brazil.