Brazil: Presidential hopeful says gay people ‘need psychological care’

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A Presidential candidate in Brazil overshadowed a live television debate on Sunday with an extended homophobic rant, saying gay people “need psychological care” and should be kept “well away.”

Labour Renewal Party leader Levy Fidelix, who has less than a 1% approval rating, shared his views during the penultimate televised debate before next weekend’s presidential election.

According to the Guardian, the presidential hopeful suggested that Brazil’s population of 200 million would be halved if homosexuality were accepted because “the excretory system” does not work as a means of reproduction.

He added that gay people “need psychological care” and are better “well away from [the rest of] us”.

Although his comments were largely ignored by the three main candidates – incumbent Dilma Rousseff of the Workers party, former environment minister Marina Silva, and Aécio Neves of the pro-business Social Democratic party – Fidelix became the focus of a majority of post-debate discussion on social media.

One Twitter user posted: “Levy Fidelix say gays will reduce #Brazil’s 200 million people to 100m, = w/ paedophiles, then encourages confrontation with them. WOW. Vile”

Despite being a fringe party leader, Fidelix was was allowed almost as much screen time as Brazil’s leading presidential candidates during the debate.

Last month, Presidential hopeful Marina Silva dropped a pledge to defend same-sex marriage, and claimed it was included in her manifesto by mistake.

Brazil’s Supreme Court controversially ruled in favour of same-sex marriage last year, but the change has faced strong opposition from evangelical lawmakers, and attempts to codify the change into law have stalled in Congress.